Parent Talking Tips
Parent tips for talking to children about death
- Talk to your children and try to understand their feelings.
- Listen when children want to talk, and take them seriously.
- Show love and concern openly, so there is little chance that your feelings will be mistaken.
- Trust your instincts. If you sense something is wrong, ask your child directly about your suspicion.
- Build your child's self-esteem with complimentary words and actions as positive reinforcement.
- Do not dismiss disruptive behavior as attention-seeking. Check out the underlying cause.
- Do not discount your child's negative feelings. Saying "you shouldn't feel that way" rarely helps.
- Do not let fear make you silent. Talk to your child.
We recommend that you explore the following website links:
- OurHouse Grief Support Center
- 10 Things Parents Can Do To Prevent Suicide
- Talking to Children About Suicide
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Ventura County Behavioral Health: 805-981-6830
- Ventura County Children's Intensive Response Team: 866-431-2478
- California Youth Crisis Line: 800-843-5200
- The Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ Youth): 866-488-7386
You may find resources that are useful in discussing death and/or suicide with your children.