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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 09/08/08

How can I explain death to my child?

Children of every age experience death on a day-to-day basis. They hear it in the news, read in the paper, and experience it in their family and community. How much kids can understand about death depends largely on their age, life experiences, and personality. Be honest with your kids, listen to their questions, and allow them to mourn. It is not always possible to shield kids from sadness and losses, but helping them learn to cope builds emotional resources they can rely on throughout life.

In the Jewish Community

Whether it is on a personal level or within the Jewish Community, every child will encounter death in its childhood. Children are bound to hear about terrorist attacks, war, and violence, and it is the job of the parent to prepare their children to deal with the heartbreak appropriately.

Frequently Asked Links

How can I explain death in a child’s terms? more more

How do children of different ages understand death?

How can I explain the premature death of a good person to my child? more more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can I help my child cope with a friend’s death?

How can I help my child deal with a parent’s death?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What is grief?

What is complicated grief?

How do children grieve?

What can I do to help my child grieve? more

How should a Jewish child mourn for an immediate relative? more more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
NMHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans through advocacy, education, research, and service.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.

American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.

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