Just like adults, children can also feel despair and grief especially if they already recognize the presence of a close relationship with other people. Many parents today always find it confusing on whether or not they should bring children to funeral services.
To be able to answer this question, there are different factors that need to be considered. The age and the comprehension of the child about death will be the most important factors that you should be looking into.
Before bringing a child to a funeral, do a little assessment to determine if your child is ready.
- Will your child be able to sit quietly and behave during the service? Friends and family will understand that the attention spans of children are very short. But you do not want your child to disturb the solemnity and the peacefulness of the occasion just because you cannot stop them from shouting or running around the venue. You might just want to leave them home if they are too young to behave properly. Allowing them to bring a video game player while on the service is also disrespectful.
- Does your child have a personal relationship with the deceased? If the child has a personal relationship with the deceased individual, bringing him to the memorial or service might help to explain to kids the natural course of life. He can say goodbye and offer some prayers too. During the eulogies, your child may also be able to hear wonderful stories about the deceased. Sometimes, children are even asked to recite funeral quotes and poems during the service.
- Are they willing to go to the funeral? You can never force your children to go to a funeral because you do not know exactly how they are thinking things through. For some children who are able to understand the situation, having people cry and grieve while looking at the casket might be too much. Always explain to your kids about what to expect and ask them if they want to come with you.