Be gentle with your child, but don’t try to shelter him from the facts. Clearly explain what has happened, and let your child know that it’s okay to feel sad. I believe it’s all right for a young child to attend a funeral if he or she wants to, but I don’t recommend that you force a child to mourn publicly if he or she is uncomfortable with it. Of course, no one knows your child like you do, so you’re the best judge of whether or not attending a funeral will help your child through the grieving process.
If your child has difficulty expressing his feelings, you can discover how he is coping by how he plays or the stories he tells. Also, children are especially good at using artwork to communicate their emotions, so keep some paper and markers handy during the difficult times -- they might provide a good means of expressing his feelings.
From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children