Answer questions simply, honestly and in an age-appropriate way. Use correct terminology such as ‘dead’ or ‘has died’ rather than ‘gone away’.   

It’s OK to cry in front of your taitamaiti. Face the reality of grief, and move on together. We don’t know everything about grief either and it’s confusing for us too. 

Tamariki need lots of reassurance and adult attention. Be prepared to answer the same questions many times and be consistent in your responses. This will help your taitamaiti understand. 

Use age appropriate language to explain what has happened and deliver information in short segments to make it easier for your tamariki to understand. Encourage questions. It’s OK if you don’t know all the answers.  

Be prepared to listen. Tamariki need to know they are supported and heard and that they can talk to you at any time. 

Maintain the usual routines for home and kura (school) and remind your tamariki that it’s OK to laugh and have fun. 

Funerals can help tamariki understand death. The ritual of a funeral gives them a chance to say goodbye. If your tamariki  are attending, give a full and clear explanation in advance of what will happen and ask a trusted adult to care for them during the funeral. 

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