Talking to young children about illness or death
It can be hard to know how to talk to young children if someone is very ill or has died – be it a pet, a friend or a member of the family. These amazing charities have ideas, advice and support, including helplines.
- Winstons wish
Supporting children and young people after a death or when someone in the family is dying. They have a helpline and you can also e-mail for support and advice. Leaflets are available to download in English, Swedish, Polish, Arabic, Bengali and Spanish.
- Child Bereavement
An excellent website both for parents (and professionals) as well as children. This charity also has a lot of other sensitive advice including how to support babies, toddlers and young children when a loved one is very ill, a great booklist, and support for parents as well as a helpline.
Advice on talking to your child about cancer
- Child Bereavement UK has an extensive list of recommended books for all ages.
- Winston’s Wish:book lists for children of different ages, including one specifically for the under-fives called ‘Never Too Young to Grieve’.
- Mum’s jumper by Jade Perkins. A sad but also uplifting book about coping with death and loss. Available as part of the Reading Well scheme in your local library.
- Badger’s Parting gifts by Susan Barley, suitable from about 3 years.
- Where are you? A child’s book about loss by Laura Olivieri. Simple illustrations suitable for pre-schoolers.
- The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup. A story about a fox that dies – his friends’ happy memories of him grow into a beautiful tree.