Discussing Death With Children: A Developmental Approach

Sydney G. Kronaizl


Pediatr Nurs. 2019;45(1):47-50. 

In This Article


The subjects of death, grief, and loss are certainly complex – with social, cultural, and psychosocial influences and implications, to name a few. In the case of discussing death with children, it is not a decision of whether or not to have the discussion, it is a decision of how to best discuss. Grief will manifest itself differently in everyone – adult and child, patient and practitioner alike. Just as there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is no universally correct way to support a grieving child. However, the aforementioned guidelines, when considered in the context of individual differences, allow for a more open, honest, and effective discussion regarding death, dying, and grief for all involved.