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How to Prepare Your Children

Death is very difficult for young children to understand, and it can be tough for parents to explain. The best advice: Keep your answers as short and simple as possible.

When a young child hears that someone died, it’s natural for him to wonder whether he’ll die too. When he asks, respond honestly but gently.

You may say something like, “Everybody dies eventually, but most people live for a long, long time, and I’m sure you will too.”

Let him know that you’ll do everything in your power to keep him safe and healthy. Your child may also start worrying about your well-being. If he does, say something like, “Honey, I plan to live a very long time — until you’re a grown-up with kids of your own.”

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