One of the most frequently asked questions about funerals, is whether children should attend. There is no right or wrong answer to this pertinent topic, as it’s very much a personal decision. However, there are a few things that you might want to think about.
Age and understanding
Whether children attend a funeral or not is often down to their age and understanding of the situation. Most children understand about death from around the age of eight, but that doesn’t mean to say that children younger than eight should be excluded, especially if they had a close relationship with the person who has passed away.
There’s often the fear that very young children, such as toddlers or babies, might be difficult to keep quiet or still at a funeral, but, this shouldn’t be a barrier if you think it’s important that they attend. Just ensure that you get support with very young children on the day, so that it doesn’t become stressful. Alternatively, you could wait until after the burial or cremation services, and bring young children to the wake or gathering afterwards, if that’s easier.
Bear in mind that you might actually find it comforting to have little ones at a funeral. Having their presence around might help to soften the sheer sadness of the occasion.
Get children involved
Once children understand what a funeral involves, it’s important that they have the final say as to whether they want to attend or not. Children should never be forced into going to a funeral if they really don’t want to, but you should also stress that it’s an important way to remember somebody and say goodbye to them. Children might even like to get involved in some way, such as reading a poem.
That said, if children do feel strongly about not going to a funeral, you should still give them the opportunity to remember the deceased person in another poignant way. Perhaps you could create a memory box or plant a memorial tree in the garden, for instance.
If you’re still unsure about having children at a funeral, speak to our funeral directors in Manchester. We have a lot of experience in organising affordable funerals and pre paid funeral plans, with children in tow, so can give you all the advice you might need.