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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:51 am
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Biz and Theresa try to answer the big questions, like: what happens when you die? “Go ask you father” apparently does not cut it. Theresa has a breakthrough and Biz’s daughter is finally excited to do things without Biz…weep, sob, I mean, yay! Plus, we speak with Joanne Goldblum, Founder and Executive Director of the National Diaper Bank Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child in the United States has an adequate supply of diapers to remain clean, dry and healthy. She helps us understand the issues and how to help.

Episode 57: Scarring Our Children Spiritually

Have your kids asked about death, and if so what did you say?

Do you remember what your parents told you?

Please share and discuss!

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Hi Theresa - this just came up for us recently because my grandmother died. we were lucky enough to live close to her, and my son, who is 4 and a half, had a great relationship with his "gigi". I think it helped that we had built up to the idea of death gradually. last year, when were at the zoo, the polar bear had recently died. my son wanted to know where the polar bear was because the enclosure was completely empty. I told him that the bear had died and was no longer there and he was really sad about it (but recovered very quickly, as children do). then we visited Colorado and saw dinosaur footprints. He wanted to know where the dinosaurs were and we explained they are extinct, which meant they had died, and did he remember about the polar bear? and he was sad about that too, because he really wanted to see dinosaurs.

So, when my grandmother died, we told him she had died and to him that meant she is no longer around. he didn't ask about an afterlife or anything. He was sad and has been sad a few times since but for the most part he is quite matter-of-fact about telling people she is dead (which makes me wince sometimes when he says it very loudly). I suppose it is close to your dad's answer, but it does get the point across. I am sure he is bound to come across the concept of heaven at some point and will ask me about it, in which case I am all for taking Biz's route and telling some people believe in heaven, and some people believe in reincarnation etc etc. I suppose I should mention I do not believe in those things, most of the time!

I think it can be tricky to tell kids about Heaven too young because then they want to go there, which can be distressing for the parents, who obviously do not want their kids to wish to be dead!

anyways, I don't think there is a "right" answer but I do think being honest is best, within certain limits. we didn't take the kids to the funeral or the burial - that might have been a bit much for them. but they do know (or my son knows - not the baby of course) that he won't be seeing his great grandmother again, which is sad, but he can understand it.

great show, as always. you are both doing a great job!

E


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 8:06 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hey Erbera,

Thanks for sharing. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. It's funny how our own baggage plays into stuff like this. I mean, I think it's much more likely that when Simon asks about death, he'll be looking for a simple and straightforward answer/explanation, just like the one you gave (e.g. "that person (or animal) is dead"; or even "that person is dead which means their body is no longer living, we won't see them anymore"). But I think because I'm conflicted about some of the religious upbringing I had and about my own spirituality now I was projecting all this stuff onto my kids -- like they were going to suddenly and immediately need spiritual guidance and certainty from me. Which is not the case and also kind of hilarious to imagine when I think about it.

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