Children and funerals, what are your views as parents?


Hi all.
My grandmother died on saturday and I’d like your views on taking children to funerals. My son is six years old and although my nan had a stroke before he was born he did know her and had visited her many times in the nursing home since he was small. My sister and I both agree that my son should come…

I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother.

It is the decision of the child’s parent (you) as to whether or not he attends. The lessons that he will learn about proper behavior and the emotions of others, it’s invaluable. He is the great-grandchild of the deceased, and his presence might bring great comfort to those who loved the lady. and it sounds like your darling nan wouldn’t mind either!

I never had a problem with any of my 4 going at any age, and actually as they got older they were always offering to be of assist when their friends had a loss in the family. They had become familiar with proper behavior and protocols. (me=proud).

However my cousin’s little girl thought it was great fun to tap dance on gravestones at the cemetary when grandpa died. The parents did NOTHING and it caused a fight in the family. Promise me you wont let THAT happen! (i know you wont.)

Good luck to you, hun.

I have never been to a funeral that didn’t have children there. My grandmother recently died in February and there were children ranging from 2 months all the way up to the teens and everything in between. Personally, children are a part of family so why would they be excluded. A lot of times it gives the adults something happy to do just for a few minutes, whether be goo goo ga-ing a baby or taking an older child for a stroll outside for some fresh air. if your parents are against it, then I guess don’t do it, but I just don’t see what is wrong with it at all.

when I was about 5 or so my great uncle died ( my maternal grandmothers brother). I saw Uncle Walt about 2-4 times a year from the time I was an infant. I begged my mother to let me go to the funeral, but she insisted that I stay at my uncles house with his kids ( several years younger) and a babysitter. I was very hurt by this as I wanted to say MY goodbyes to someone I regarded fondly. As a teen and adult my mother and I discussed it and she said if she realized it made that much of an impression on me, she would have let me come.

Why not actually ASK your son if he wants to go to the funeral? Let him know that your nan died and there will be a funeral. Let him know that most of the people there will be very upset and maybe crying. Give him a choice if he wants to go or stay home with a babysitter.

I went to my first funeral when I was 5 y/o (my uncle died). I wasn’t close to him so it didn’t really effect me but I do remember everyone looking really sad.

My brother died when I was 14 and I had 6 younger siblins ranging in age from 3 years to 13 years old. We all went to the memorial service and later, the funeral. My parents didn’t shield my younger siblings from it. My mom would explain that “Nathan is in Heaven with Jesus now”. It took a while for my younger siblings to grasp it, but eventually they did. My parents didn’t hide anything and my siblings were able to express how they felt and cope with it accordingly.

So, I agree with you. I think you should have your son go and be very open about it with him. He will ask lots of questions.

Since your son is six, I would ask him if he wants to go. Explain to him what will be going on and that at times it may be a bit uncomfortable. I don’t see anything wrong with him going since he was familiar with your grandmother. It’d be different if it was a total stranger to him. These things, although difficult, are a part of life and it doesn’t hurt to include our children. My son was six when we had our second child and we clearly asked him if he wanted to be present during the birth of his brother. He chose to wait outside, but had tons of questions afterward which we answered honestly for him. Don’t just ignore your little one, then he may feel left out. Just present the whole setting to him and let him decide from there.

At moms funeral the kids went but they didn’t get to see her body in the coffin. It was sad 🙁

At my cousins funeral her two little boys they were 4 and 5 at the time and they saw everything.

You could take him but if you feel that its not appropriate just don’t let him see too much is what I would do.

I think they should be included but not expected or required to remain the entire duration. They should know the loved one is gone and how many people respected them and will miss them. Having kids under 10 stay for hours is unrealistic and unpleasant. Give them a half hour or so before the service, stay for the service and go with-in an hour after. Go out to eat (your already dressed up) and see if they want to talk about it.

You don’t need to convince them of anything. You are his parent you have decided it is okay for him to go, so just take him. Explain to him what will be happening there and that a funeral is to say goodbye to someone who has died, so people are going to be a bit upset.

I went to funerals as a child and was traumatized. I think it would have been ok if my parents wouldn’t have walked me up to view them. My sister refuses to take her kids to funerals because of this. However, my father is very ill and I’m sure I will take my kids to his funeral when the time comes. However, I will not let them see Grandpa. I will keep them in the back.

Children need closure just as adults. I have studied this in college and work in social services and yes children should go to funnerals.
If it is open casket do not force him to look if he doesn’t want to but let him if he does want to.
Even if he wasn’t close to her he still knows someone died. If he’s not really close to her I don’t think it would harm him not to go to the funneral. However, if kids are close to people who have passed away then they should go to the funneral.

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