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How to talk about suicide to children


There are difficult subjects to face and explain to our children. Subjects as painful as death, whether due to illness, accident or suicide. And for fear of not knowing how to explain them or the children's reaction to such a sad, painful and tragic event, we mistakenly tend to think that it is better to keep them on the sidelines.

And so we try to protect them, also mistakenly, by silencing the event or by telling them white lies. Nevertheless, it is better to give a sincere explanation about what happened and avoid silencing, deny, lie or hide reality since in the end these strategies can end up breaking the bonds of trust that children place in us, their adults of reference.

- It is important that we talk about suicide even if it is not something that has happened in our closest environment.

- Despite the difficulty involved in talking and explaining the issue of death in general and suicide in particular, it is important that they be discussed openly as a family, always from the calm, respect and of course, from the pain.

- Death is part of life and children need to be able to understand it. Avoiding talking about it only postpones what one day they will inevitably face. We know that it is not easy, much less if the death was by suicide, a subject still surrounded by silence and shame. However, and despite the difficulty for adults themselves to understand suicide, it must be approached openly and shared with children.

- Talking about suicide, demystifying some of its topics, can be a protection factor reducing the risk to be carried out.

- Talking about suicide helps to understand what it is and why a person feels so sad and dejected that they decide not to continue suffering by ending their existence.

- Children are able to understand everything if we adapt our language to their level of age and maturity.

- If the suicide has occurred in a close family environment, the child must be reassured that none of their behaviors caused the death of their loved one.

- Sharing the pain of loss helps express your feelings, of pain, rage, impotence, anger, ... allowing to develop a healthy grieving process.

- Explain, always based on age, that certain mental illnesses cause deep discomfort and desire to stop suffering. In reality, people who commit suicide do not want to die, they just want to end the suffering they feel.

- That is why it is so important that we learn to speak with those closest to us, to seek help, to share our pain and suffering. Talking about feelings is the first step in encouraging life. When fears are shared with another, they are easier to resolve

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Video: Talking to Preschool Children about a Suicide Attempt (July 2021).