How to explain death to a 7 year old?

My neighbor is visiting and we’re talking about her kids. The other day, her 7-year-old asked “What happens after we die?” and ended up having a little kid panic attack and even throwing up from it!

My friend (their Mom) believes that when we die, we basically rot into the ground and that’s it – she can’t tell her kid that!

So for anyone who has dealt with this, what should someone who doesn’t believe in religion or God, tell her kid what happens after we die?

Answer #1

People tell children they will go to heaven because its easier on a child’s brain, to make something out of the fact than to not know. Like, we are older, so we can understand not existing anymore (even if we cannot feel it, we can sort of comprehend it), but a child has absolutely no way to understand not existing. And they do not understand it at seven years old.

Its easier to tell a child what to think, than to leave the subject open and have their mind come up with horrible images that could scar them for life.

You should just tell her that you go to heaven and be with god and granny and granddad or whatever. Even of you are not religious, You need to give her something to explain her emptiness.

You can’t tell them that people are just gone. No longer existing, Because they actually mentally cannot think that through and it will frustrate them and upset them.

At the age of 12, my father passed away due to a heart attack, and even then I could not understand where he had gone or what had happened. I had lots of adults all telling me different things and I grew confused and frantic. I knew he was gone, and was never coming back, but I didn’t know where he had gone. I wish, for my sake, that they had of just kept their stories straight with what they told me. Instead of all telling me different things. He is in heaven, He is in spirit, He is still with you, you just cannot see him, He is not coming back… All of these things contradicted themselves terribly and its not until a few years ago that I actually chose the idea of what happened to him that I liked the most. And I feel that having one idea helped me a lot, and for about 2 years I was stuck in a whirl of different ideas as to where he had gone.

I just wish they had all told me the same thing. I would have stopped grieving sooner.

So, personally, I think you should think of something that happens to people when they die (I think god and heaven would be the most practical because it will be what she hears about at school), and all stick to one story. Children trust adults and are very loyal.

Answer #2

My father, Herbert Otto Altar,may have been a rationalist, but I was not so stupid I just understood death since three years old or so, “the disobedient officials were thrown into a cauldron and boiled”, he told of some historical conditions when we were on a walk, the witch in Hansel and Gretel was burnt in the oven, later about four I saw a cat which had been killed, most of my father´s family were killed during the Second World War, I may have asked about death in connection with my father´s parents, he said “They stopped living, when people die they are gone.” As to what happens after death at about age seven, he said one cannot be certain, but indicated it is complicated. Much later he said he had had experiences of projections or real sensations of persons who had passed away, not uncommon from where he was born. He explained that the Old Testament does not speak of any afterlife, except in the case of Elijah which may have been added, that he had emphasized already earlier. That life is a limited gift.

Answer #3

I agree even for a 13 year old!!! thats how old I am and I know!!! and you all know what the answer is why lie?? its heaven!!! and now to make that come true you just have to belive in jesus!!! do you want a 7year old go to hell or heaven ??? I care so im posting this for all of you who dont belive in crist please please!!!

Answer #4

I think she’s going to go with “We go to a place called Heaven which is a better place.” and just leave it at that.

Personally, I like the star one :)

Answer #5

Just tell the 7 year old that when we die we all turn into stars in the sky at night & we watch over everyone

I dont know if that is any help??

Answer #6

You can tell the kid that they’re going to heaven. Heaven doesn’t tie with religion all the time, Heaven define itself as ‘’Eden: any place of complete bliss and delight and peace’’. I would stick with giving them the religion based ideologies. Religion provides structure for children and it gives them something to lean on when they need it.

Its not productive as the child gets older but for now I’m sure it will do. Later on you can try and tell the kid that humans really have no idea what happens after people die, the thoughts provide comfort for people but in all essence of reality, no one knows.

Hope this helps.

Answer #7

yea but what is the truth??? ITS HEAVEN not enless you dont belive! =)

Answer #8

death is a part of life. everyone dies in life. god decides when you die. this may sound overrated. when my cat bubba died i was crushed but then i realized that god didnt want him to suffer anymore. bubba was VERY sick, and god took him away because he did not want him to suffer anymore. so how to explain this to him is say death is a part of life. everyone dies from age cancer etc…. but and sometimes you wear out and die. try that. if that dosent help then feel free to send me an alert and ill see what more i can do.:)

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