My 6 year old daughter has always been very grown up for her age. She is certainly not one of those kids that you can easily fool, she is very independent and there’s not much that goes past her.
She was really upset last night and when I asked her what was up, she asked me: “Mummy, will I still be able to talk to you when you are dead?” My heart sank. Why was this little person worrying about death? I had to explain to her that everyone dies, but usually not until they are very old and wrinkly… She still looked upset and asked me: “Will you still die even if you exercise every day?” (We had been talking about people who are ‘chubby’ and how it can be bad for you, just as being too thin can make you sick etc.)
I was wondering where all this was coming from, and by this point she was getting quite hysteric, crying and saying she didn’t want to go to bed. Me and my husband sat her down and asked her why she was thinking about me dying. She said she had a dream about it the other night.
I really had to fight back my own tears, as I felt so upset that my little girl was worrying about big things like this. I am sure it’s quite normal, but I can’t remember myself worrying about death and dying until I was quite a bit older.
Has anyone had to have this discussion with their young children and what did you say?