Feb 24 2011

Getting Bad News Has Never Been Cuter

Here's what happened when a mom told her 3-year-old son that his favorite baseball player, Texas Ranger Michael Young, was going to be leaving the team ... (it has been reported that Young will be traded at some point - he's still with the team as of this post).

Something sweet you should know:  Michael Young saw the video and visited Gavin :)

Want to share your wisdom on breaking bad news kids?  Click on "comments" and please share, if you have some time to write.

For the full story, click here.

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Comments (139) -

2/24/2011 5:39:51 AM
Bliss United States
Poor kid!
2/24/2011 5:43:40 AM
Elated Grace United States
Elated Grace
How precious! I hope that Michael Young was able to console him-I'm sure Michael is STILL his favorite player no matter what team he's on! God bless!
2/24/2011 5:45:30 AM
Kay United States
The hardest thing I ever did was last year when I had to call my 25 year old daughter and let her know that a dear friend of her's had been killed in Afghanistan.  Now that was hard....
2/24/2011 5:45:42 AM
Monica United States
I have also felt, depending on your kids ages, Mine are 20,17,11,be honest in a gentle way, and let them experience all their feelings, So many parents want to protect them from everything, they never develop those coping skills for dissappointment and saddness, and by the time they are grown up like my 20  year old, they can sort out those feeling alot easier
2/24/2011 5:46:51 AM
Connie United States
I can feel for you about breaking bad news. A few years back I had to tell my 5 & 7 yr old grandma passed away and they both looked at me crying and with smiles on thier little faces said mommy it's so great she is in heaven with Jesus. I cry every time I think of it the innocence of a child and wouldn't it be great if we could all be that way about sad news. I feel that if you are honest and talk on their level they will understand and if you are supportive they will get it.
2/24/2011 5:46:53 AM
Janette Swindell United States
Janette Swindell
When my son was 11 years old, I got a phone call that his baseball coach for the past three years and the person he called "Dad" had died in a car accident that morning.  Since our families were so close the son (also 11) had called me and wanted to tell Thomas (my son) the news himself.  As I handed the phone to Thomas, I told him "Whatever he tells you, be strong for him."  I remember this 11 year old being comforting and encouraging during the phone conversation and when he got off, I heard a scream from my little boy who's heart was broken.  It was a moment I will never forget, but there was no time for preparation.  My son is now in college and following the Christian footsteps of this coach that truly was his earthly dad and opened the door for Thomas to meet his Heavenly Father.  
2/24/2011 5:47:20 AM
June Leasure` United States
June Leasure`
When news of a sports figure transferring to another team is considered tragic to a three year old, the family has their priorities out of line. News of death, divorce, sickness, or even a family member moving away are relevant concerns, but when a three year old grieves someone they don't know personally, then that "figure" reflects where the parents place importance. I think the whole scenario is sad.
2/24/2011 5:48:12 AM
randy United States
Nothing is simpler than the truth.
2/24/2011 5:48:35 AM
Bill Adams United States
Bill Adams
I teach grief courses and have been a minister for 23 years...I have always found it best to be honest with your kids.  I also think it important to let your kids know there will not always be an answer for everything in life and/or death.  God is much bigger than our minds can comprehend.
2/24/2011 5:49:14 AM
Sabrina Corbett United States
Sabrina Corbett
My 13 year old just called me from school to say a friend of her killed herself last night. How do you comfort a child when you can't be there to hold them. I told her to stop a minute, regroup, and pray. Pray for her soul and for her family. Is there really more we can do?
2/24/2011 5:49:50 AM
JON HAMILTON United States
2/24/2011 5:50:23 AM
Miranda United States
When my son's first pet, his cat Minnie (named after our Disney trip) died we were so worried about how he'd take the news. We waited until we got him home from school and sat him down. We told him that Minnie died (actually, I had ran her over to make the matter worse!!!) and that she was gone. He tried to handle it like such a big boy (he was 5) and he actually tried not to cry. We told him it was ok to cry and he immediately burst into tears. Then he consoled himself and said, "maybe Minnie's in heaven and she's Jesus' cat now." I, with my sense if humor, couldn't help but say, " I hope she's not scratching Jesus like she was scratching us!!" then we all busted out laughing!! We proceeded to remember all of the good and fun times we had with her. Everything turned out fine!
2/24/2011 5:51:17 AM
Barb Underwood United States
Barb Underwood
I am a grandmother now and though I don't remember my children being so aware of what was going on in the world at age 3, I always empathized with them in a disappointing situation and I always asked God to give me the words to say since EVERYONE is soooo different.  Viva the difference
2/24/2011 5:51:22 AM
Connie Pence United States
Connie Pence
Back in Jan. 2003   I received a phone call from my son in law and immediately raced across town to my daughters home, only to find her on the floor dead.  Ambulance and police cars out front.  Her babies were in bed so I made a phone call to my son in laws parent to come and get the children.  We got them out of the house without them seeing their mother.  The oldest child being 5 and the youngest 1 1/2 years.  We thought we were protecting them from seeing their lifeless mother on the floor.   2 years later my oldest grandson questioned his father and was a little hurt as to why he was not allowed to see his mom.  My thoughts were how this child had thought about this for 2 years.  Wow...they think more then we know.  My daughter died from a terminal seizure.  As painful as it may be I think being open and honest is the best way to go.  God will take care of the rest
2/24/2011 5:52:03 AM
Russ Bergeman United States
Russ Bergeman
I try, regardless of the news, to bring Jesus to the center of any discussion I have with my kids. My wife and I try to make it a habit to make HIM a part of the conversation whether we are sharing good news or bad news. Once this habit is established we create a feeling that Jesus is with us in positive or negative situations. If my kids (or me for that matter) can believe that Christ is with me during good times then it is easier to lean on HIM during the bad times.
2/24/2011 5:52:29 AM
Melissa Koffs United States
Melissa Koffs
One of the best things I have seen about breaking bad news and healing for a child

This is one of the kindest things you may ever see. It  is not known who
replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog,  Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey..

She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God

would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,   Will you please take  care of my dog?  She died yesterday and is
with  you in heaven. I miss  her very much. I am happy  that you let me have
her  as my dog even though  she got sick. I  hope you will play  with her.
She likes to play with  balls and to  swim. I am sending a picture of her so  
when you  see her You will know that she is my dog. I   really miss her.
Love, Meredith  

We put the letter in an  envelope  with a picture of Abbey and Meredith  and
addressed  it to God/Heaven. We put our  return address on it.  Then
Meredith pasted  several stamps on the front of  the envelope  because she
said it would take lots of  stamps to  get the letter all the way to heaven.
That   afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at   the post office. A
few days later, she asked if   God had gotten the letter yet. I told her
that I   thought He had.  Yesterday,   there was a package wrapped in gold
paper on our   front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an   unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it. Inside was   a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet
Dies..'   Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to
God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey  
& Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,   Abbey arrived safely  in heaven. Having  the picture was a  
big help. I recognized Abbey  right  away. Abbey  isn't sick anymore. Her  
spirit is here with me  just like it stays in your  heart. Abbey loved  
being your dog. Since we don't  need our bodies  in heaven, I don't have any
pockets  to keep your  picture in, so I am sending it back to  you in  this
little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by..  
Thank  you for the beautiful letter  and thank your  mother for helping you
write it and  sending it  to me. What a wonderful mother you have.  I  
picked her especially for you.  I   send my blessings every day and remember
that I   love you very much. By  the way, I'm easy to  find, I am wherever
there  is  love.. Love,  God  
2/24/2011 5:52:35 AM
Cheri United States
I am the mother of a 30 year old and a 26 year old, I have found that the best policy is to be 'Honest" in every situation.  You are teaching your children..... that no matter what happens you will always share the truth and be honest with them and in turn they will learn to be honest with you.  It is very important that we teach our children that bad things do happen and that the LORD is the one that will help us through theses tough times.  No matter what the question or the situation be TOTALLY HONEST! Guidiance is a parents responsibility.  
2/24/2011 5:52:37 AM
Jayne United States
I will never forget Feb. 13th 1987. My sister Kim was killed in an automobile accident. When my 7yr. old daughter got home from school I was faced with how I should tell her. My husband's sister is also named Kim. She was called "Aunt Kim" and we always referred to my sister as "Different Aunt Kim" I was trying to be strong while I was explaining to her that her different aunt Kim had died. God Bless her little heart. She grabbed me and hugged me and said "Are you going to be ok Mama?" Can you imagine this little person showing such compassion. I do love that child. (however, she needs prayer because she's lost)
Have a blessed day,
2/24/2011 5:53:22 AM
Brittany United States
This is precious! It reminds me of this video I was introduced to a couple years ago by an avid NC State fan.  Even though I am and always will be a Carolina girl, I can help but feel sad with this little guy:

2/24/2011 5:53:34 AM
MARY KIRK United States
In our family it always seemed that when my children would go off on a trip one of our pets would pass while they were away.  Well, our kids where on their way to a youth convention for Fine Arts and the last thing my one daughter said was," don't let any of the pets die".  Well, after we got home from dropping them off her turtle had died that very day.  I had to put him on ice until she got back so we could have a funeral.  She got off the bus on return and asked if anyone had died.  That was the longest car ride home.  
2/24/2011 5:53:39 AM
Katie United States
About a year and a half ago we had to put our dog down. My daughter was 5 and my son was 3. Our son wasn't were he would understand what happened but we felt the best thing was to explain what happened in terms they would understand. My daughter understood the concept of death but this was her first experience. We cried together and we answered there questions and took this opportunity to explain how Christ conquered death. Now, I still get questions about what happened to Sally, heaven, doctors, and death. We have really used this as a teaching moment. It has led to somegreat conversations with our kids!
2/24/2011 5:54:17 AM
Thelma Cramer United States
Thelma Cramer
My son is very grown. My Aunt passed away on the 27th of Dec. I debated if I should have him go to her welcome home ceremony. I went to Iraq when my son was nine months and she helped my grandparents and mom with my son. So the two were close. He cried when he saw her and told her he knows God going let them see each other again on judgement day. My son is seven and this wasnt his first welcome home ceremony. It was the first one that he was close to the person. I think our kids are stronger than we let them show. I tell both my kids what is going on. As a single mom they help me see how much God is blessing us everyday.
2/24/2011 5:54:27 AM
Tonya United States
Good Morning!  I Love, Love, Love K-Love!  I have been listening to the discussion this am and I wanted to add this:  Pray before you talk to your children and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will not lead you in the wrong direction.  Each child is different and God knows our children better than we do.  Our children are God's children first.  I always point out that God has infinante wisdom that we will never have and that even if we simply don't know the answer to thier questions, God does.  God DOES and we must trust his wisdom.  Thank you for having a discussion that helps to make me a better Mom!  I love that I can get ideas about how to be a better Mother, and Christian.  Thank you!  Have a great morning to all!!!
2/24/2011 5:54:31 AM
Debby España United States
Debby España
Seven years ago my father was diagnosed with osteosarcoma - cancer, two years later he passed away. A little girl in our church, who was the only little girl that was close to him because he would hand out candy and make her laugh didn't understand why he had passed.Till this day sometimes she asks if he's at home and we have to tell her that he's with Jesus. When he became ill, she would pray for him every night since she was attached to him. My dad never had got a chance to see his grandchildren and this is how he saw her as a grandchild. Telling her was the hardest thing we all had to do.
2/24/2011 5:54:40 AM
Angela FItzgerald United States
Angela FItzgerald
When my kids were 3 and 1, my dad's brother passed away. My kids knew something was wrong, because I was crying while I was giving them their evening bath. My precious 3 year old daughter asked that question, "Mommy? Why are you crying??" I sat back on the floor and reluctantly told her that I was sad because Uncle Joey had died. She looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes and with the faith and sweetness that she stills carries with her 13 years later said, "Mommy, he'll always be in your heart and he's with Jesus! Be happy!" We had never dealt with death before, so we had never had conversations about those things. Her response was so grown up and she actually ministered to ME in that moment...
2/24/2011 5:54:57 AM
Jessica United States
2009 was a hard year for my family.  We lost 3 family members, 2 of which my oldest was very close to. We also almost lost my Dad that year.  My oldest was 4 at the time but I had to let him know why everyone kept crying. Everytime I had to tell him someone died, I sat him down in a quiet place and held him. I talked to him about how my aunt/cousin have been very sick (which he already knew because we had already talked about cancer) and told him they went to live with Jesus where they were no longer sick. He asked questions and I answered as honestly as I could. For a while he thought everyone in our family who got sick was going to die and I just gently explained that not all sick people died.  Some illness is just worse than others.  He is now 6 1/2 and still talks about them living with Jesus and how he misses them. He also says he wants to live with Jesus one day.  I told him that's wonderful but I hope he wants to live with mommy and daddy for a long long time
2/24/2011 5:56:52 AM
Kim Davison United States
Kim Davison
Tell your kids the truth.  Any questions they have - you don't have to know the answers right away.  You just tell them that you will find the answer and get back to them....with your source being the BIBLE.

They need to know that you don't know everything!
2/24/2011 5:56:55 AM
mary United States
Hardest thing I ever had to tell my children was that their grandma wanted nothing to do with us. Long story short, I've gone through many years of hard times with their grandma and it has all come to a head. They love her and are very disappointed. But they are at the age (8&9) where they have seen and heard things, and as odd as it may seem it has helped them deal with the end result. I was very open and honest with them when I told them and answer any and every question they had. I don't know how I would tell them if they were any younger.
2/24/2011 5:57:02 AM
sherry pritchett United States
sherry pritchett
we had to tell our 5 and 6 yr old about there grandfather dying (they were very close to him) It was hard but when we told them he was in heaven they wern't so sad
2/24/2011 5:57:21 AM
Jessica United States
I completely agree about honesty and compassion.  My niece was born 3 months premature last May and survived 6 months, though she never left the hospital.  Because she was in the NICU, my 6 year old son and 7 year old daughter never got to meet her.  My children were heartbroken, especially my daughter.  We got the book "Someone I love died", talked to them, cried with them and reminded them over and over that she is perfect and without pain in heaven with Jesus.  She still comes up in conversation, about how much they wanted to meet her and we just remind them of how perfect and happy she is.  And how important it is to know Jesus.  If you don't where is your HOPE of ever seeing her?  Thanks for letting me share!
2/24/2011 5:57:23 AM
Lisa United States
How cute!  Recently my 3 yr old grandson's neighbors wife died and I was really worried about how I was going to approach the subject of death with him.  When I told him what happened he didn't seem all that upset.  We made cookies to take over to the husband and on the way up to the house he mentioned why are we doing this.  And I told him, "remember his wife died."  He stopped dead in his tracks, put his hand on his hip and said "WHAT?  SHE DIED?" Very indignant, like this is the first time he had heard this news.  I said, "remember Grandma told you that?"  Fearing he had no concept about it all and we were almost to the door, I was afraid he would have a melt down right then and there when he looked at me sweetly and said "well we better get him a new mommy then."  I told him that he didn't want a new mommy, he loved this one, and because of what Jesus did for us he would see her again.  He said "maybe we could go up and down this street and find him a new mommy in one of these houses."  How sweet!  When I told my son what had transpired I said can you help?  He jokingly replied "yes mom I will get right on that.  Imagine me going up and down the street asking people if they want to be someone's new mommy!"
2/24/2011 5:57:47 AM
Lora Robinson United States
Lora Robinson
The toughest thing we ever went through was with our son.    He was in a basketball game around 7th or 8th grade & had a break away for an easy layup.  He really never missed layups;  left handed, right handed, he had them down.   Anyway, he’s fast, got a breakaway, no on close & MISSED the layup.  It was a tournament game, last few seconds, we were down by 1 & we went on to lose that game because of that missed layup.
I keep the book/clock & was not able to go to him right away.  There were mothers in the crowd, aching for my boy, asking “where is that poor kids’ mother?”….well, I’m sitting at the desk & cannot go to him to comfort him until I get everything done.  
The coach went over to talk to him, my husband tried to talk to him, a lot of people in the crowd…it was HARD.
When we got home we just left him be to process the whole thing.  I just went in told him I loved him, that he was still my stud & that we know he’s a great ball player.
We just continued to encourage him over the next few games…the coach gave him OPEN opportunities to redeem himself in the next few games (kinda like – fall off a horse, get right back on)…& it worked.  He now plays ball in college & has to deal with more of these things…I think it helped that he KNEW that we loved him no matter what….& that he had more opportunities to make it right.

These are great life lessons in dealing with hurt & disappointment & knowing that the Spirit can bring comfort even when you think all is lost.
2/24/2011 5:58:24 AM
amy sampson United States
amy sampson
I honestly believe that honesty is the best policy to children. March 12,2010, my husband died in a work related accident. I remember having to come home and seeing my daughter,at that time 8, ask where her daddy was cause his truck was home and he wasn't. I was numb still from disbelief, that my mother had to tell my daughter that her daddy wasn't never coming back home. Watching her face turn so red and as she yelled out came running to me asking if it was true.
Myself telling her that, wasn't the best news I ever wanted to tell her. Now nearly a year later she has come around to the fact he will never be here. But she now is telling my 3 year old about this. He doesn't know exactly what she is saying but I myself in the years to come doesn't want to have to tell him this. Is that bad?
  Back to the subject at hand. Just be honest with you children. They will understand later on that its better to know the truth than to know a lie.
2/24/2011 5:58:24 AM
Melissa United States
A few years ago my son had a parakeet named Perry.  One morning I discovered Perry was belly up on the bottom of his cage.  None of the kids were home so I bee-lined it to the closest pet store and replaced Perry with a look-a-like.  Straight out of a sitcom!!! However, my genius kids noticed within a few hours...there was a metal band around the new Perry's leg and my daugther asked where it came from.  I tried to tell her it was his new bracelet, but she wasn't buying it.  So much for that!!
2/24/2011 5:58:27 AM
Timothy Barker United States
Timothy Barker
I am only 18 but I remember when my parents would have to give me bad news. We would all get into the car and go get either my favorite dinner or an Icee. Then they would start remembering the good times. Then usually tell me when we got back in the car. My dad would drive and my mom would sit in the back with me. I always thought that, that was a good way to tell kids bad news.
2/24/2011 5:58:31 AM
Cindy United States
My mother passed away of cancer when my daughter was 3.  My daughter new she was sick, so we told her grandma had passed & gone to heaven. We also said we were going to have a party for her (funeral ). She would be in a special box decorated just for her. My daughter did fine she Is know 12 and is not scared of funerals at all.
2/24/2011 5:58:35 AM
Michelle United States
My sister told me this once and it has always made me laugh. A friend of hers grew up on a farm and they had lots of farm animals, including one cow in particular that he had named "Brown Cow" (I'm sure you can guess where this is going!)

Well, one day when he was about 4, Brown Cow was gone. They were sitting at dinner, eating hamburgers, and he slowly looks up from his plate and says, "Mom... Dad... are we eating Brown Cow?" Not wanting to lie to him, his dad said, "Well... yes, son. We are." Without hesitating, the little boy smiled and said, "He sure is GOOD!"
2/24/2011 5:58:45 AM
Wanda United States
Love how God is so faithful in taking care of things like this.  Four years ago my dad passed away when my son was only 5.  How do you tell a 5-year-old the whole concept of the body being left here and the soul going to heaven.  I so struggled with how he was going to deal with and understand all this.   Out of the blue he says to me, "Mom, Grampy is in heaven, but he left his skin behind."  
2/24/2011 5:59:23 AM
Rachelyn United States
I don't have kids yet, but I am in college and I babysit kids all the time where I have to tell them something, as little as "mommie is going to work she will be back in time for dinner." I have learned just to tell them with a voice of concern, but tell them with love because thats what they are looking for.
2/24/2011 5:59:39 AM
Debbie United States
having raised 5 children on my own as a single mother as well as keeping 100s of children in my in home day care I have come to reliaze how important honesty is with children. Eric, you are right about truth & compassion but I also feel that is so important to be Biblcaly correct in the things we tell our children. Parents are a child's first view of God, since He is our Father & we need to teach them the truth. That the Bible is true so teach them "the Bible says...." They have to learn to handle bad things in life because that is part of it. That is where compassion comes in. To show them our Father is heaven is full of compassion & will brings us though the hard times
2/24/2011 6:00:01 AM
Julie Reed United States
Julie Reed
With a family of 10, hard news is pretty inevitable. Some of the hardest things I've had to tell my kids were that our cat passed away, the my daughters' dance teacher had passed away, and that my husband is being deployed (twice). When I have hard news, I either call a family meeting, or (as in the case of our dance teacher) take the affected people aside and try to explain to them as gently as I can what's going on. In the case of Dad being deployed, we all sit down as a family and discuss what kinds of job he's going to be doing while he's gone and when he's expected to come home. This is his second deployment, and it's really hard to explain to my almost-4 year old that Daddy's going to go away (he was only 1 when Daddy deployed last time). I just tell him that Daddy's going to be gone for Army for a long time, but he will be back later...and deal with the sadness and questions as they come.
2/24/2011 6:00:20 AM
Lisa Amerine United States
Lisa Amerine
Last month our family cat, Azeem, died.  We knew over the weekend he was dying and after a lot of prayer my husband and I decided to include our 4 year old in the entire process.  While death is unknown, God has promised us that he will take care of us and what is to fear in that.  We really wanted Brianna to experience this process in a safe way.  Over the weekend we told her what was happening and she would go to Azeem and pet him and sing to him and tell him that Jesus was with him. Then on Monday morning around 9am he did pass.  My husband and I again talked and prayed, do we show Brianna our 4 year old our beloved cat who lay on our floor now at peace as I know it but dead.  We decided yes and what she did next was amazing.  We went down stairs and told her that Azeem had died, she wanted to see him so we took her upstairs and she pet him and kissed him and said "You are the best cat and I am so happy you are with Jesus and out of pain, I know I will see you again someday and I love you so much" All of this while petting him.  After this she got a blanket and covered him up"  My husband and I were floored and in tears at watching this amazing thing take place. It was so hard to be a part of but what a gift.  We got to walk with her as she experienced something very difficult.  I was raised to not see someone who is dying, don't remember them that way, don't let that be the last thought...but now Brianna has learned a safe lesson from us, not from Disney, not from any other TV show.  We let her have her emotions and encourage them and what she did was amazing.  God is good and death is just as much of a life and just as precious as birth and I felt made a really hard situation managable while providing incredible life skills.  The day was so powerful I am not sure if this post even catches the real moments but that day God was with us and guided us.  
2/24/2011 6:00:45 AM
Terri Hoover United States
Terri Hoover
When my Daughters Grandfather passed away, I called her to let her know. When she got off the phone she began to cry. Her 3 yr old son asked her why she was crying and she wasn't sure what to say,so she told him, "We lost Grampa Al". He patted her and told her, " That's OK Mommy, we will find him." Even though he did not understand, it did make her feel better.
2/24/2011 6:00:56 AM
Brian Pollard United States
Brian Pollard
About a year ago my wife and I lost our twin sons, 1 at birth and the other after 16 days.  The hardest part was telling our 1 old daughter that she would not get to meet her brothers.  We did feel it was best for her, even at 3 to learn the truth.  We did tell her that they were with Jesus and if we would be able to see them again.  I dont know the best way, but this worked for us.
2/24/2011 6:00:59 AM
Laurie United States
I think you need to be honest & age appropriate.  I tend to say more than what the kids need and then they loose attention and get confused.  Simple answers have worked for us so far.  We also take time each night after we read the bible with our kids and before we pray for them to have time for them to tell us anything they want to share.  This helps give us a special time to share anything.  
2/24/2011 6:01:04 AM
Susan Sueltz United States
Susan Sueltz
When my father was killed in a plane crash, my son, Kevin was only 4 years old..We had been waiting for hours in the emergency room and later the ICU at the hospital. I was preparing him for the news because they had just told us that my father, his grandpa, had died. I explained that grandpa's body was goind to be there, but that his spirit had gone to Heaven to be with God, hoping that he would understand. When we walked in the room, everyone was explainably crying and I was holding Kevin. After awhile, he asked, "Mommy, when are his bones gonna float up in the air like on Scooby-Doo"? No one in the room could keep a straight face. It helped the moment and no one to this day has forgotten that moment. My dad always had a great sense of humor, so we feel it was a God-thing tellins us it was going to be ok...
2/24/2011 6:01:31 AM
Cindy Kolb United States
Cindy Kolb
Lisa and Eric
My husband recently retired after 20 years in the Navy and I can tell you that telling your young children that Daddy is going away for 6 months (or longer) is so hard to do.  My oldest son was 8 years old and we had just recently moved to a new port and learned that Daddy's new boat would be going away for a long deployment.  It is so hard to tell your child something you know is going to hurt them and you know that there is nothing you can do to fix it.  I agree with being as honest as you can and then just loving them.  My son and I prayed together and cried together with Daddy and we continued to pray together and on the hard days cry together after Daddy had gone.  I wanted him to know that God will comfort us and hold us in his hand when we are hurting.    
2/24/2011 6:02:56 AM
Gitta United States
You mentioned you didn't know if animals go to heaven.  I've had the same struggle and am still not sure, but I have a verse I'm praying about.  Colossians 1:20 ..."by Him to reconcile ALL things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven...".  I've heard there are more verses that say all of God's creation will be redeemed, but I haven't had the time to look them up yet.  I'm thinking since nature and animals were negatively affected in Adam and Eve's fall, wouldn't they also be redeemed by Christ, especially since they weren't to blame?
2/24/2011 6:02:59 AM
Carissa Mathews United States
Carissa Mathews
The hardest news that I had to tell my children was when I had to tell them when my Dad passed away. He was very sick and he was on hospice and they helped me and my Mom take care of him. They were very closed to him and prayed that he would get better everyday. My 4 yr old did not understand why Jesus took his grandfather, I told that Jesus had take him to give him a new body and make him better and that we would see him soon and that now Papa could be his angel. Be honest with you kids is best they understand more than we know.
2/24/2011 6:03:05 AM
Monica United States
I forgot to say on other thing, I emailed earlier, as you kids mature, when they are in situations that disspoint them, I always tell my kids that God is growing their Character, especially the teenagers, and it always seemed to help them cope, knowing that God is part of every situation.
2/24/2011 6:03:37 AM
Wendy United States
God taught our family of 6 a hard but beautiful lesson when I had to break the news to my 10 yr old son that a friend of his was killed in an accident.  His response was, "I know he was a Christian, mom.  So, I'll see him again one day."  Childlike faith is a beautiful lesson for any age!  
2/24/2011 6:05:15 AM
gloria United States
My children were 5,3 and 2 when they lost their Grandpa and Grandma (my husband's father and my mother) 3 days apart from each other.  My son's school teacher suggested that we tell them the truth and then asked them to draw a picture of how they felt.  What words could not come from them the pictures relayed a million words. It was a special way for us to know how they were coping in the months to come.
2/24/2011 6:05:57 AM
Brian Pollard United States
Brian Pollard
Ment to add, we did a youtube video as well which our daughter watches every week, Landon and Maddox Video
2/24/2011 6:06:00 AM
Mike United States
My kids are grown up the youngest is 18 but I've always tried to be straight forward and honest. One thing I learned from my Dad was he would never say I know how you feel. Even if I went through a simular situation it always made the kids feel like here I am trying to help but i need you to tell me what you are feeling so I can understand. That talking about what they are feeling often is what they needed.
2/24/2011 6:06:01 AM
Cynthia United States
Hi Lisa and Eric,

I am a Christian and a grandmother of 10.

Someone on your program said "I need a book" Well good news there is one it is called The Bible.

I love what is told in Deuteroomy 6....we are told to teach our children of God's love when we are sitting standing walking laying down geeting up...I think what we are being told is to take every opportunity to teach our children of God's love for us and all of our lifes "stuff" some things are painful and hurt us, good opportunity to teach our children of how Jesus feels what we feel and how He is there to give us comfort thru all of the things that life brings to us that hurt.
Didn't mean to preach....that is just what I was thinking as I listened to your program this morning.
P.S. from someone who raised 4 children and has been blessed with 10 grandchildren (1yr-18yrs) take it from me children are MUCH more reslilent than you might think and they know when you are beating around the bush so to speak.
2/24/2011 6:06:06 AM
Sarah Barber United States
Sarah Barber
I was listening this morning about 8:30 when you were talking about breaking bad news yo your young children and I wanted to share something.  In June of 2009 my daughter father, passed away tragicly in a car accident, and I of course had no other choice but to tell her.  I spoke with many people and got tons of advice and this is what I did.  I simply sat her down, with everything in me I resisted from crying and breaking dowwn, and I was very honest and very careful of how I used my words; also being ever so compassionate.  By the way she was 6, this happened 2 days before her 6th birthday.  So I told her that sometimes in this world that we live in, bad things happen to good people.  And Daddy was in a bad car accident, and Heavenly Father decided that it was time for Daddt to come back home to Heaven, and live with him.  I explained to her that its okay to cry and be angry for a while, but to know that Daddy will forever be with us in our hearts, and we can pray and talk to him every day, all day of she would like.  So thats exactly what we do, still almost 2 years later.  This was an extremely hard thing for me and my daughter alike, but through prayer and with the help of gods direction, I was able to tell her in a way that she understood, and I felt good about.  Thanks for everything you guys have done for me and my family through your encouraging words and music.  -Sarah, Dayton Ohio
2/24/2011 6:07:24 AM
vicki United States
Pain, loss & disappointment are part of life and although as parents, we want to protect our children from anything that would cause them pain, it's important that we teach them how to deal with difficult issues. We don't have to know all the answers - that's part of living a life of faith. It's an opportunity to teach our children to trust God & His love and faithfulness in the good things as well as the bad. When my daughter's much-loved pet died, all she really needed & wanted was for me to hold her and cry with her, letting her know it's ok to grieve.
2/24/2011 6:07:39 AM
April Weaver United States
April Weaver
When my son Gage was four, our dog Isabel died.  She was thirteen years old and I held her as she passed.  It was difficult but when I composed myself, my husband brought Gage in and we talked about death.  He petted her and asked questions and we had a funeral the next day.  
Six months later, my father in law passed away.  Gage was very close to his Papa but because of Isabel's death and his experience with that, it was easier to talk about Papa.  He wanted to see Papa and touch him and say goodbye so we did.
A little while after, Gage wanted to go the store and buy peanuts(Isabel and Papa both loved peanuts).  While he was in the backseat eating he said, "I bet Isi is sittin' in Papa's lap in heaven eating peanuts right now....watchin' over me!"
2/24/2011 6:08:00 AM
Tonia Norton United States
Tonia Norton
We (my husband Chris)  think the best way to tell bad news to your child is first take it to GOD. We go to GOD for everything. When we have upsetting news for our daughter we seek GOD'S guidance on how to tell her and for him to give us the right words, that will be spiritually comforting and healing for her. Children are on a different level mentally than adults, so it's best to tell them in a way that they can understand. GOD Bless
2/24/2011 6:08:01 AM
Alena Dennis United States
Alena Dennis
I have never posted to your site before but this was so close to my heart that I just had to. I'm a mother of three. I'm 48 years old and my oldest is 22. I have made some terrible mistakes with my oldest that I've learned from. I think Eric said it best when he said "just tell the truth and show compassion".  When we try to protect our children we sometimes fail. Lying tto our children about hurtful things does two things. First it tells them that it's o.k. to lie and also it leaves them unprepared to cope with disappointments later in life. Life is hard, that's a fact and there are always going to be things that disappoint or hurt us. But our God is able to heal and help us through those times. he doesn't take the tribulation away because when we go through those things with Him guiding us we grow in character and better epquiped to handle life's challenges.  Sometimes as parents we try so hard to protect our children but in the longrun we are leaving them unprepared to face what lies ahead. The word of God says train your child up in the way that he should go and when they are old he will not depart from it. Learning to deal with disappointment is part of that. Oh and by the way Lisa there is a book.  It's called "Growing Kids Gods Way"  it is by authors Lance and Susan St. Clair and Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.  And oh my it is surely trial and error.  
2/24/2011 6:08:19 AM
Anj Leigh United States
Anj Leigh
My wisdom on breaking bad news?  "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault" James 1:5. I am the mother of 5 children ranging from 24 to 9 and haven't always responded the right way, thank God for His grace! I would say it is very important to consistantly give our kids at any age the "Big Picture" of God. Reminding them of His goodness, His Sovereignty, and the wonderful Hope we have in Him. We may not always understand, but we know we can trust Him. To be able to provide those lenses to our children with any given circumstance is a big part of what parenting is all about.
2/24/2011 6:08:23 AM
Andrea United States
I have a 3 year-old son who is very inquisitive. I loved this about him until his father and I were going through a divorce. His dad left December 1st and has not seen or spoke to him since although I have tried to keep that relationship alive for the both of them. One night after we got home from daycare, he was acting really sad and when I asked him what was wrong, he told me that it makes him sad when his daddy is not here and he asked me why daddy is mean to him and doesn't like him anymore. My heart broke and is still breaking for my little angel. As his father struggles with untreated bipolar disorder and depression, I told my son that his daddy loves him very much and is sick and needs to get better. I reassured him that daddy is mad at mommy, not him and its not right what daddy is doing. Three days later while I was washing dishes, he came up and hugged my leg and told me, "mommy I love you very much. Can you be my best friend like Woody and Buzz (from Toy Story)?" My heart melted and just reassured me that God is good and although we do not always understand why things happen, they do happen for a reason and there are some things that we are not made to understand, but God provides and will always be by your side as he was when I had to answer to my son about his daddy.
2/24/2011 6:08:50 AM
Gina Gerdes United States
Gina Gerdes
First, for Lisa... Smile  I've had animals all my life, from the smallest (mice) to the largest (horses).  All of my animals have been family pets, most of them incredibly intelligent, and I've held the majority of them in my arms as they have died.  Just as with people, when an animal dies, you can physically see the life force, the "soul," leave the body and the existence of what was once what you knew is no longer there.  It is heartbreaking...particularly with animals as their level of comprehension is so much less than that of people and they are typically scared.  So, to your question Lisa about animals and souls, I have to respond with a resounding "Yes."  I firmly believe that they all have souls, regardless of how small the animal, they all have souls on some plane of existence.  This is what makes an incredibly intelligent animal appear almost human.  These are not traits that are always patterned after a reward system given by a human, but often traits that are learned of their own accord.

I always believed in being up front with regard to breaking bad news to my children, even if it meant discussing the death of an animal.  To sidestep the issue is to foster a fear of death, a fear of discussing a given fact.  To address it straight forward, is an opportunity to move further into an excellent discussion on the Lord, how he saves us, and what he has in store for us.  There is a fine line between sheltering your children versus crippling them.  Children whose parents are up front with them turn out to be adults who are level headed, secure, unafraid of life, and well grounded.  Children whose parents continuously shelter them turn out to be adults who are incapable of making decisions on their own, incapable of even leaving home when they should, and adults who live off of society rather than contribute to it.  They simply don't know how...they've never been taught, never been expected to do anything except rely on their parents.

With regard to this video, the only thing I find disturbing is the fact that such heavy emphasis has been placed on a GAME, a TEAM, a PLAYER such that a 3 year old (who honestly cannot at that age even comprehend the whole concept of baseball, teams, players, etc.) is openly distressed by something of such little significance in the grand scheme of life that he is distressed to the point of near tears.  If you want to be a good parent, don't place YOUR likes/dislikes on your children's shoulders at such a young age...give them the freedom to discover on their OWN what they like and dislike.

2/24/2011 6:10:18 AM
Jake (birth name James) United States
Jake (birth name James)
I am in the Army and my wife and I lost our baby daughter in July 10.  She was due in OCT so she was past the viability stage.  My wife was 28 weeks along when our baby Julia was born sleeping.  So then we had the dilema of how to explain this to our 4 yr old, James Jr.  We purchased some books on dealing with grief for him.  He went through all the stages of grieving which actually shocked us but he was angry and upset that his baby sister wasn't going to come out and play with him.  But like Eric said you have to be honest and compassionate.  And we explained that Julia went to live with Jesus and we won't see her again for a long time.  So it was extremely difficulte to explain when both my wife and I were trying to deal with this ourselves.  However, shielding children from the realities of life doesn't help for long and they will never stop asking questions until you explain to them the harsh reality between life and death.  Being in the Army, I will be leaving on my 2nd deployment and I have always been caring and honest about my deployments with my son.  It's hard for him to handle and grasp but being honest with him is the best way to handle it.  My wife will have enough to deal with without constant questions from my son about where daddy is.  

2/24/2011 6:10:37 AM
Min Panz United States
Min Panz
my 13 year old daughter had a bad basketball game and my husband tried talking to her about how to play the game better. My husband was very sensitive since she was going through some hormono changes, but still it made her very upset. I took her to the side and had a heart to heart talk with her. I told her you can not believe everything you are feeling, (also talking to myself) because most of time they are not true. She felt that dad was saying she was terrible and no good at basketball and I had to make her realize that is not what he said, but those were her untrue feelings. This was truly an opportunity to tell her that Satan always lie to us and wants to take our peace from us. I was able to help her to see we must hear what God says about us and not the enemy.
2/24/2011 6:10:39 AM
Christina Ailes United States
Christina Ailes
I had to explain to my children when they were younger about their Grandpa passing away. My children were age 10,7, and 6 and we were packing up boxes and through my saddness I put a balloon in a empty box and sealed the box shut. I then gathered my children and explained to them that the box was like our bodies, it was something we could touch, hug, kiss, see and then I explained to my children that each of us have a soul inside of us that can't be touched, kissed or seen. I opened the box and the balloon inside floated up in the air and the kids watched the balloon float up into the sky, I explained to my children that Grandpa's soul was like the balloon it came out of his "box"/body and now floated to heaven to be with God and he was safe and happy being with Jesus and that all that was here was an empty "box". My children waved good-bye to the balloon as it floated toward Heaven and told their Grandpa good-bye that day and they have never forgotten that day as they have had to say good-bye to other family members who have passed away over the years.
2/24/2011 6:10:42 AM
Terri United States
Almost 7 years ago, I had to inform my just turned 5 year old son, that Daddy fell off a roof and was going to be livng with Jesus.  I took my son to the ICU room that his Daddy was in so he could see for himself that Daddy was actually hurt and didn't just leave him.  Kids are amazingly resilient and they really need to be told the truth.  They need to see us adults dealing with grief so they in turn will know how to respond.  Death or bad things is something that happens to everyone, and kids need to see how we rely on Jesus, our church family and the hope that only God can provide.  My youngest was only 2 months at the time, the then 5 year old took over in helping to care for his brother that would never really know his Daddy by telling him all about him.  Just be honest but you don't have to include all the details in one sitting.  Details can come about over many years.
2/24/2011 6:11:45 AM
Gina Gerdes United States
Gina Gerdes
On a side note, yes, I have children...4 of them ranging in ages from 13 to 29. Smile
2/24/2011 6:11:56 AM
Mary Towns United States
Mary Towns
My children and I suffered a great deal when they were young. We lost babies, beloved grandparents, and when the boys were 3 and 10, their father and I were divorced. The only way I was able to make it through those hard times with them was to believe that God truly does REDEEM--He turns what the enemy meant for evil into good. I told them they were meant to be champions, and champions are specially trained by God to endure hardship.  I told them about the men and women of the Bible who were overcomers and told them the rewards of the overcomers (Revelation 2 and 3). I taught them that one day God would reveal to them the reason for their losses and pain, and that, if they kept their eyes open for God's promise, it would be well worth the "brief and momentary suffering" compared to the glory of God. Today we are all warriors, overcomers, and strong against the enemy as champions for those who cannot fight or overcome for themselves. Nothing about the former suffering can compare to the present glory of God!  If suffering is coming to you today press into the call on your life to be God's champion!
2/24/2011 6:12:24 AM
Tina Kerlin United States
Tina Kerlin
Thank you for being vessels for our Lord and Savior.

5 years ago our family went through 3 major life changing events. We have 4 children their ages then were 7,10,12 and 18. These event's cut us to the core of who we thought we were. These events were: Loss of a bus. a teen age daughter told us she was pregnant and my husband's father diagnosed with terminal cancer with only a year or less to live. These events happened all within a three week period. We were broken, but we told our children the truth, and allowed them to express themselves and emotions with each added event. We also turned these gut wrenching events into how God is faithful, trust worthy and loving. In these events we shared that God knew each step we were taking and that we as a family and children of God needed to surrender all of our fears and worries to him. Putting God in control in a time that was so out of control in our human understanding has given not only our children a firm foundation. He has shown us over and over that He will never leave us nor forsake us. What an amazing God we serve...

Blessings to you both.

2/24/2011 6:12:45 AM
choua United States
I think that its great when parents are honesty with thrie children. I use to hate it when my mom was honesty and hard n me but now being 24yrs old and a mother of 2 little girls I see why and what my mom means. Lisa its true what you said when your parents re honesty with you it really helps you grow and when you have children it does help you grow up. all of my co worker didnt know how old i was, because they  said " you look younger but act older! so how old are you?!"
2/24/2011 6:13:16 AM
Sheryl Matte United States
Sheryl Matte
I can remember when my now 23 year old daughter was 3 and her goldfish died.  My husband called me at work and said that the fish were dead and what should he tell Amie.  I said just tell her they died and be up front with her.  Then she gets on the phone and says Mommy my fish are dead and I don't know how to tell Daddy because he is going to cry!!!!!  They understand more than we give them credit for.  
2/24/2011 6:13:39 AM
State exactly what happened. Answer only the questions asked, and keep those answers simple.  I think our society typically gives way too much "grown-up" information to kids, the kids, at least mine, just want he details.
2/24/2011 6:14:54 AM
Lysa Thank United States
Lysa Thank
The worst day of my life was telling my children 1,7 and 11 that their dad was killed on his way home from work. I was as honest and direct as I felt I could be with them, I also explained that he went home, God chose him to be with him. I also explained God's time isn't are time, they are very different. And reminding them over and over the truth, "God loves us and he would NEVER do anything to hurt us" "Even though this is a difficult time, we have to pray and try to understand God's plan." My 7 year wanted to know if she could die to go to heaven to be with daddy, I explained, nope it's not your time. God would let her know when it's her time.  I am remarried (11 years now) to an incredibley loving husband that watches videos of my late husband playing with the children on our old VHS tapes, he has even spent many days transferring the tapes to DVD, (all with the children) He also insist that my late husband stay up on the walls, to remind my daughters of all of the love they have been blessed with. My youngest was only 1 when her dad passed, now my current husband has adopted her, but we gave her both last names. She is really proud of both, (but whines about signing her name to home work.) God's blessings are all around us. MY girls and I have grown even closer to the Lord. We sometimes have down days, but look up to God! My suggestion are: be honest, supportive, loving, share, ask your children about "thier feelings", listen (even if you are hurting), give tons of kisses and hugs!
With Love, Peace, and prayers,
2/24/2011 6:15:09 AM
Bobby United States
Kids can handle more then we think. When my youngest son was 4 years old he went to school like every normal day. When he came home and bath time came, I was washing his hair and blood started streaming down his face. I was freeked out. I asked him what happen and he said he just bump his head on the slide and was to busy playing to tell the teacher. Well I knew he needed to go to hospital and get stiches. So on the way I explained the entire procedure, needle, stinging, pulling stiching everything the doctor was going to do and assured hime that he would be just fine and would only hurt a little if ws still. When in the room the doctor and a big nurse came in to hold him down and much to everyone surprise my son just laid there and was very still no tears at all, no squrming, no screams, and no nurse holdng im down. The doctor and nurse were shocked and said they wish all parents would do the same and that all the kids would be so good. He got up excitedly and asked how many stiches he got (six), so he could brag at school and they gave him a roll of stickers and he was a happy camper for the rest of the day. I learned as a parent that if you are streight up with your child and truthfull they will surprise you sometimes. I continued this practice for the rest of his life and now at 17 he is not afraid to tell me anything no mader how good or bad, he knows the truth will always set you free and hiding the truth, well he will always get cought and that GOD has a way of always revealing the truth.
Thanks and GOD bless
2/24/2011 6:15:13 AM
Nancy Larson United States
Nancy Larson
Avoidance may seem like the right thing at the time, but it can cause problems later.  If you aren't sure what to say in a situation, why not just share that, that you aren't sure about the answer?  Then move forward with the child to find an answer.  This way you also teach the child that mommy doesn't ALWAYS have the right answer.  This is an important lesson for children, that parents sometimes don't already have the answer but can show the child how to go about getting to an answer.  I like what Eric said, be honest and compassionate.
2/24/2011 6:15:21 AM
Janeanne United States
Kids react differently than we expect sometimes.  Our sister-in-law tells a story of how she broke the news the family cat (Monster) had to be put to sleep.  She contemplated the way she would do it, and finally she sat the kids down and told them.  The cat had been around since before the kids had come along, so they were close to the cat--or so she thought.  After she told them about the cat, expecting some tears and questions, her second daughter said,"well, I didn't like that cat anyway!"  They since have a new cat.

Always be honest with your children; tell them what brings you comfort.  If you are comforted with the thought of pets in heaven, let them know this thought.  We're not perfect, and believe me, they know it!!
2/24/2011 6:15:28 AM
Monica United States
Hi, I have a story about telling my daughter tough news. When my daughter was 4yrs old,she had a new kitten named Baby. Well about 6 months later we could not find Baby.I told Lindsey that I would find Baby while she was at school.  I found Baby under our desk, she had died the night before. I had to tell Lindsey after she got home, and before I told her, I sent up a quick prayer and ask the Lord to give me the right words to say and he did and I was very honest with her and after a few days,she was ok with it.
2/24/2011 6:15:32 AM
Janet United States
Lisa, you need to read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo to answer your question about pets going to Heaven.  It is a wonderful (true) book about a little boy who goes nearly dies and goes to Heaven for a short time during a surgery.  It is a short read and and precious, touching story that we all should read, not just to answer the pet question, but to get a glimpse of what glorious things we as Christians have in store with our Father in Heaven.  God bless you all and thanks for Klove!!!
2/24/2011 6:16:42 AM
Diana Glatchak United States
Diana Glatchak
The hardest thing in my life was to have to tell my 12 year old son Nick was going to lose his leg.  I had to make the decision to amputate his leg, so he may have a better life.  I also had to tell my five year old son Ryan that his brother was going to lose his leg.  THe reaction of Ryan my 5 year old was worse than my 12 year old son Nick.  My five year old jumped on his brothers leg and would not let go of his leg for about ten minutes.  After everyone calmed down and we had talked it through. Telling  telling Ryan that instead of being in a wheelchair he would have a fake leg he could wear and be able to run around.
2/24/2011 6:17:05 AM
Diane Springer United States
Diane Springer
I believe that kids should not be sheltered from the "bad" things in life.  You should be honest with them and just explain it in a way that is appropriate for their age.  I have 2 boys ages 9 & 7.  There have been a number of times that something has happened or they have asked me a question that I knew what to say but I did not know how to say it in terms they would understand.  I was honest with them and said "I know the answer to your question but I do not know how to tell you in terms you would understand.  Let me think about this for a little while and I will get back to you later."  They have always been ok with that.  One instance was my older son (7 at the time) asked why was it cold during winter even though the sun was out?  I told him I would get back to him on that.  I figured out to use his globe and a flashlight as the sun, but I had to think about this for a couple of hours until the idea came to me.  
2/24/2011 6:17:14 AM
Cathy United States
On Father's Day I had to tell my 4 and 7 year old kids that my Dad, their Grandaddy had just passed away. My sister told me of something she had heard and I explained it like this. My body is my house. my head is the roof and my clothes are the wallpaper. Right now Jesus lives with me in my house. One day I won't need my house anymore, but I will go to live with Jesus in His house. I have found that being honest in a way they can understand, is the best.  They both talk about Daddy being in heaven and that we will see him again.
2/24/2011 6:18:31 AM
jill mcgregor United States
jill mcgregor
I had to deliver news to my boys but it wasn't bad but it definitely was a surprise.  I am the mother of 3 boys 18, 14 and 5.  As you can see there are quite a few years different.  When I found out I was expecting with my last son I didn't know how I was going to tell the other two boys.  I knew the oldest would be fine but I knew the youngest would be devastated.  We had picked at him when he was younger about having another baby and he wouldn't be the baby any more needless to say he didn't take the picking very well.  So after some lengthly prayer time I decided to write my boys a letter explaining to them they were going to be a big brother.  My oldest was excited my youngest at the time said "Ah I thought I was getting a new video game!  Of course we all had a good laugh.  The next day he went to school and told everyone I was having a baby but his dad was going to have a cow.  Everyone got quite a laugh out of that one.  If you don't think God has a sense of humor just look at my family.  I am the most blessed person in the world.  We really enjoy your show.  You bless our hearts every day!!  Have a great day!!
2/24/2011 6:18:44 AM
MaryAnne Duff United States
MaryAnne Duff
As a mom of 3 grown children and a Early Childhoom Professional for over 30 years and a beliver for 43yrs. I have have seen the value of teaching our children how to handle unmet expectations (disappointments) in life.  It is the little (we believe as adults) things that are their world and the heartbreak they go through when they do not go as they have planned is devistating to them.  Helping them to realize that God's grace is sufficient in the things we cannot change and that we all experience disappointments helps them to deal with the circumstances.  By helping them this way they learn how to handle disappintments and hopefull will not experience rage or depression as more unmet expectations come along, and they will in life.
2/24/2011 6:19:07 AM
Kat Alford United States
Kat Alford
My daughter's father passed away when she was 4 yrs old. I told her he died from a car accident.  Years later, she made a comment to a friend of mine that she knew there was something about it that I wasn't telling her. I sat her down to tell her the full story of how he had been out drinking with friends & decided to do stunts on top of a moving car. Needless to say the alcohol won, and we lost. My daughter was more upset that I had "lied" to her.  I explained that I had not lied, just simplified the details to what she could comprehend at 4 yrs old. After thinking about it for a while she understood my reasons. We had never discussed the incident in front of her, but maybe that was what she saw, something being kept from her. Children understand & are more aware of things than we realize! To protect & respect our children, we need to tell the truth but monitor how much info we give according to their level of understanding.
2/24/2011 6:19:33 AM
Melissa United States
Last year my father died on feb 7th at 1:30am. A friend stayed with my five year old and my eight year old was at her dads. We go back at 4:30am and I had to read my mom sunday school lesson to fill in the morning and we got up at 8am and i told my son to come and sit with that i had something to tell him. So, I told him Last night Grandpa Lee died. He just looked me and said I know. It cut through me like a knife i didnt know how to respond accept to hug him and tell him I love him and then we got ready for church.
2/24/2011 6:19:55 AM
Sherrie Gibbs United States
Sherrie Gibbs
When my daughter was 3 years old, my sister,(whom we had lived with since my daughter was 3 weeks old, past away at home after 4 months illness with cancer.  My daughter was at a friend's house during this evening.  She "knew" Granny was sick--as much as a 3 year old can "know".  I had my friend bring her home after my sister passed that evening. I told her that the "Real" Granny that talked to us had died and was with Jesus in Heaven.  We could talk to her but she would not be able to talk back to us.  So, I took her into my sister's room and we spent time with her.  I told my daughter we say "See you later" because we would see Granny again when we went to live with her and Jesus in heaven.  As we left my sister's room, Jenna turned and say, "I love you Granny and I'll see you later".  Toughest time in my life.  I didn't hold back my tears which "allowed" my daughter to freely express her sadness.  Many times we have had "mournful moments" together about Granny and her not being here with us.  Granny would tell us that when we saw a cardinal bird she was watching over us.  Jenna asked one day later that year, "What is Granny doing in Heaven?"  I told her that Granny helps Jesus paint rainbows.  My daughter is now 12 years old.  She remembers her Granny and that day and every time she sees a cardinal bird or rainbow she says "Granny is watching over us".  My daughter has a personal relationship with Jesus and knows she will be with HIM and Granny one day...either through Jesus coming back and rapturing us out of here or when she dies and goes to Heaven.  
I thought I must be honest and truthful about my feelings on the passing of my sister/her Granny and not "fake" being the "strong" one.  Life is full of various events in our lives--some good some difficult...however, with Jesus we are never alone whatever we go through...my daughter knows that truth!-- Location --City: Napoleonville,LAZip Code: 70390
2/24/2011 6:20:48 AM
Ellen United States
My children are 21 & 17 now, but when they were 9 and 6 I had to tell them that their father and I were splitting up.  It was the hardest thing in the world to tell them, but I was simply honest with them.  We all cried together, but I told them they could ask me questions and anytime they needed to talk to either me or their father, we would always be there for them.  
They have since told me that they barely remember how the conversation went that day, but they do remember the hugs and tears.  That tells me that I did the right thing.

Kids are very strong, if you let them be.  No matter how old they are, just explaining things on their level and being there for them no matter how they react is the best way to deal with anything.
2/24/2011 6:21:00 AM
Sheila United States
Besides being truthful and gentle, use difficult
times to teach your children about God, as it
admonishes us - when you sit down and when you
stand up and when you walk by the road.  
When my boys were young, we lost their great grandmother and grandmother within the span of six months.  My husband's grandmother was definitely a believer and we were able to share with them the joy of knowing that she was with the Lord and the hope we had of seeing her again.  However, with my mother, though she had been a religious churchgoer, did not give evidence to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We shared with them that, because we were not with my mother the last week of her life, that we did not know what God had done in her heart and that He was more than able to change her heart at any time.  So, we could hope that she had become a Christian before she died.
And we did hope and pray that that had happened. But, we also explained that once we were in heaven, with God, that we would understand His ways and that we would not miss her if she wasn't there.  Several years later, when my daughter was small, we lost our family dog.  Everyone was very sad and my daughter wanted to know if Blackie would be in heaven.  Wanting to be truthful but
not crush her, we told her that the Scriptures do
not tell us whether our pets will go to heaven, but that we do know that Heaven is a perfect place where God abundantly gives us all we need.  
Therefore, if we need Blackie in heaven, God will
have him there.  Time and maturity took care of the rest.
2/24/2011 6:21:22 AM
Nancy Powers United States
Nancy Powers
It is harder for the adult to tell a child whats going on. I remember when my daughter was 2 years old and I was getting ready to deploy with the Navy. Being a single mother at the time and having no close relatives to watch her I had to make a trip from Virginia to New York to drop her off with my mom. This happened very frequently for a few months while the ship was getting ready to get underway. She used to go to New York for weeks at a time and it was devastating for me to have to tell her I have to leave you again, and again. When we were at my mother's house one time she saw that I was leaving and she grabbed her bags and told me she was ready to leave with me. This broke my heart because I had to tell her she had to stay. After the deployment I told her that was the last time I was leaving her and that I was getting out of the military, but that promise had to be broken because on my last 6 months in the Navy they told me they needed me to help another crew but this time for a couple of weeks. But I had no face to tell her, so I kneeled and told her that I had to break the promise this one time and I told her this with tears in my eyes. Surprisingly she looked at me and said mommy you dont have to cry I love you and hugged me. This showed me that she was stronger than I was and that it is always better to be honest with them and take them into consideration.
2/24/2011 6:23:55 AM
Rhonda United States
At the age of 6, my daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is part of the Autism spectrum.  As hard as it was, I sat her down and explained that she had Asperger's and explained in "kids" terms what that meant (ie:  you aren't weird like the other kids say, you think different, that makes you unigue).  I let her ask questions and if I didn't know the answer, I said I don't know, but I'll try to find out.  She is 11 now and still has questions and I try to remain open with her.  I feel gentle honesty, not evading the inevitable, is the best plan.
2/24/2011 6:24:38 AM
Pam United States
I agree that honesty is the best policy.  We talk to our kids.  When treatment for our diabetic dog was not going well, we discussed the pros and cons of continuing treatment verses letting Sampson go.  He was not getting better so we decided to put him down.  The kids understood our decision.  We took lots of pictures the last week and found ways to savor memories.  There was so much bawling the night before, that even the dog could not stand it.  He snuck off to a room by himself.  However, the next morning we kept things upbeat for Sampson and took him out for his first ever ice-cream cone the hour before we had him put down.  He loved it! When we got home my 13 year old son said, "He didn't deserve that.  He was a good dog.  But I would not want to see him like my friend's neighbor's dog either.  That dog was wrong." (Blind and had lost weight due to being diabetic).  So by talking things out and being honest, they understood the circumstances were not in Sampson's favor and were able to come to terms more easily with his death.  Always be honest and sympathetic.  You will gain your kids trust.
2/24/2011 6:24:52 AM
Lorna United States
I don't have kids, but I once was a kid, and I can tell you how my parents did it. They never told me anything. As I got older, I had questions about Salvation, the Facts Of Life, and just life in general. They refused to answer my questions. My mom would say, "You don't need to know that," and my dad told me to ask my mom.

They thought the preacher should talk to me about salvation, and that I should learn about the Facts Of Life and the rest of life on my own.

It was very frustrating, and I felt like an outcast in my own home.

Please, please talk to your kids. It may be hard, but you have to do it. They learn from you how to be a parent themselves. If you talk to your kids, if you are honest and straightforward, they will learn to do the same with their children.
2/24/2011 6:25:59 AM
Evelyn United States
Two years ago I lost my dad, my son was 4 at the time.  My dad had became sick unexpectantly, so I couldn't tell my son that Paw Paw had been sick. He was ICU for a couple of weeks but my son was not allowed to go in so how do you explain to a 4 yr old why Paw Paw is no longer here.

It was a full military funeral.  I took my son because growing up my dad never kept us away from funerals, death is a fact of life.  So when we go home that night my son began to ask questions. His one question was why did the soliders shoot Paw Paw.  The question was asked every day for a week and then some. The best way I could explain was to show him a picture of Paw Paw in is military days and explain to him that shooting their guns was a way that soliders clapped for each other. That they were not shooting at Paw Paw but for Paw Paw to honor him.  

I told him that Paw Paw was up in Heaven with Jesus and they were looking out for him and his sister who was 1 at the time. Now when we relase balloons I tell them that the balloons are going to Paw Paw and Jesus in Heaven.  
2/24/2011 6:26:12 AM
Britta Hon United States
Britta Hon
I have 2 things I would like to share
1st I would like to say that when a dear friend of mine lost her dog I really started asking alot of questions - as an adult- where do animals go when they pass away.  A pastor friend gave me the best news.  He said that because dogs - animals - are put of God's creations they will most definetly go to Heaven.  I totally believe this since we can read that a Lion and a Lamb lye next to each other in heaven - so why not maybe a dog and cat.

2nd about giving kids new they may not understand...I think we need to be honest and put our own feelings aside to give the best most APPROPRIATE information we can.  I have 3 children - twin girls that are now 2 years old and Daddy is in the Navy.  Currently he is in Afgahnastan.  The girls have always had a close relationship with their daddy and when he was gone for a while now (since Novemeber) they started asking "Where Daddy" I did the best I could to tell them... While I did not tell them he is at war I did them he is far away in another country called Afgahnastan and that he went there on an airplane.  That seemed to be enough for them, then I would play them some of his old phone messages that I saved on our answering machine so they could hear his voice and we watch home movies and we are all ok.  They talk to him on the phone when we can but as for now - "Daddy is far away and will be home when it's warm outside."

Hope that helps.  All we really need to do is love our children, from there we can do anything.
2/24/2011 6:26:59 AM
Samantha Kolyer United States
Samantha Kolyer
My little brother has had a lot of news broken to him.  When he was three, our dog was hit by a car.  We told him that she died, and went to play with God in Heaven, but that she couldn't come back.  Then, last year when he was five, our grandfather died and we told him something along the similar lines.  The hardest was this past October, he was six and our mom passed away.  We explained that Mom went to go be with God and she couldn't come back, but she loved him very very much.  We always try to be honest but sensitive to how he feels and be prepared for any reaction.  We also aren't afraid to show that we hurt, too, because he has to understand that it's normal to hurt.
2/24/2011 6:27:10 AM
Diane Springer United States
Diane Springer
Earlier this morning you were talking about the difficulty of telling a young child about the death of a family pet.  I am the practice manager for my husband's veterinary center.  When we have a client who has lost a pet, we send every one of them a sympathy card with the following poem printed on the front:


Just this side of heaven lies the Rainbow Bridge.

When a beloved pet dies, it goes to the Rainbow Bridge.  It makes friends with other animals and frolics over rolling hills and peaceful, lush meadows of green.

Our pets do not thirst or hunger.  The old and sick are made young once more; the maimed and the ill become healed and strong.  They are as healthy and playful as we remember them in days gone by.

Though happy and content, they still miss someone very special, someone they have to leave behind.

Together, the animals chase and play, but the day comes when a pet will suddenly stop and look into the distance...bright eyes intent, eager body quivering.  Suddenly recognizing you, your pet bounds quickly across the green fields and into your embrace.  You celebrate in joyous reunion.  You will nver again separate.  Happy tears and kisses are warm and plenty; your hands caress the face you missed.  You look once more into the loving eyes of your pet and know you never really parted.  You realize that though out of sight, your love had been remembered.

And now, you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

Just a little something to keep in mind if this ever happens again.

God's love and peace be with everyone today and always.
2/24/2011 6:28:59 AM
Raquel Wilson United States
Raquel Wilson
My name is Raquel Wilson and I am a grief and loss counselor in Toledo, Ohio. I specifically work with children and families as they walk through their journey of grief...regardless of the type of loss. A lot of losses are due to a death in the family/community, but I have spent countless hours companioning those who have suffered loss due to a job change, relocation, giving away a pet etc. Gavin's loss that was featured today on Klove was so touching and so "real". Loss is all around us, yet it is one of the biggest areas of life that we are so ill prepared to cope with. I always encourage the parents I work with to "speak the truth in love". Meaning, they should give their child age-appropriate information regarding the loss and deliever it in a sensitive way. The truth is not always easy to speak, but if we speak it in love, we will be heard. I recently started a blog called The Mourning News (http://themourningnews.blogspot.com) so that I could have a creative outlet to reach the masses about grief and loss in an unintimidating way. My recent post was about pet loss and how it is often the first loss a child will experience in life. Parents have such an awesome opportunity to teach their kids about grief when the family loses a pet. Parents have an opportunity to lay a healthy foundation of coping that the child can use in future grief and loss experiences. I am SO passionate about this topic and feel that this is the area of counseling that God has directed me to! I'm so happy to hear Klove discuss such an important topic on the Lisa & Eric morning show! Blessings!
2/24/2011 6:29:21 AM
Jamie E United States
Jamie E
I had to tell my 4 children last night that my Mom is dyeing of lung cancer...and that my husband is going to Afghanistan for a year. Not a fun night, but were honest, yet didn't give the most scary details...used lots of humor.
2/24/2011 6:32:11 AM
Christian Wonder United States
Christian Wonder




2/24/2011 6:34:59 AM
Stacey United States
My 5 year old son broke some bad news to me the other day. In his kindergarten class, his best friend, Greenlee, sits with him at his table and he talks about her all the time. He's even said he loves her! He was sitting in our kitchen on Monday night and, with the seriousness of a minister at a funeral, said, "Mommy, Greenlee moved and I am so sad!" He began to cry as I walked over him to hug and comfort him. I let him cry for a minute and told him I was sorry he was so sad and tried to give him hope that he would see her again. Then I asked him where she moved to and through his tears he answered, "To Mrs. Birdwell's class!" In that moment I realized how tiny his little world was and that I could give him hope that he WILL see her again, at least on the playground! It gave me the opportunity to see the world through my 5 year old son's eyes and realize that sometimes people just change positions in our lives and that's ok!
2/24/2011 6:35:05 AM
Kathy United States
In my lifetime I have lost 10 aunts and uncles, 6 grandparents, a dad and 2 moms and my older sister.  About 3/4 of those have been since I have had kids (18,16,13,9).  My husband has lost numerous extended relatives too.  We have always been honest with our kids about death and we have grieved (many times deeply) in front of them.  I still have moments where I will start crying because I miss my dad, mom and sister. I also have regrets that my dad (who died when my oldest was 2 weeks old) has not been around to see my kids and enjoy them like I know he would have and I share this with my kids, too.  But above all that, my husband and I share with our kids God's incredible love for them.  He loves each of them way more than we ever could and anything that touches them whether good or bad matters to Him and they can tell Him about it all.  We also tell them that we may never understand why many of things that happen to us (or those around us) happen but God does and He sees the big picture.  He sees the person(s) that might come to Jesus through that person's death. He sees the situations that will unfold in the future, the lives that will be changed down the road, the opportunities we will have to live out our faith because of the lives and deaths of our family members.  God is trustworthy and faithful.  He always has been and always will be and we remind our kids of instances where we have seen His faithfulness and grace in our lives.  And last but definitely not least we reemphasize the promise of Heaven and why it is so important to make sure you get there and bring as many others as you can with you.  And we also share with them that some of our loved ones may not make it to Heaven.  We do not know how God reaches out to them or the decisions that can be made in the last moments of life, but we do know this, that when we reach Heaven, the greatness of God and His love for us will surpass it all. Oh, how He loves us.
2/24/2011 6:35:25 AM
Bev Greer United States
Bev Greer
As I was putting the finishing touches on dinner one evening, my husband went out to feed our two Malamutes and he came back with one of their collars.  Why did you take that off?  He replied, "Klondike doesnt need it any more.  He's not going to eat his dinner, either." As the tears welled up in his eyes, I realized what was going on.  How are we going to tell our girls, age 5 and 3, that Klondike is in heaven running on Jesus' dog team?

It turned out that Mr. Rodgers had the perfect book on explaining what it means when a pet or a person you know dies.  Well, our sadness over Klondike in September, prepared us for what came next.  Great Grandpa died in December.  The girls and I flew out of state to the funeral.  We shared Mr. Rodgers' book with the neices and nephews.  My girls were able to share about when Klondike died.  

We flew home and within three weeks my dad, their Grandfather, passed away.  We got back on the plane and flew South again for Grandpa's funeral.  At both funerals, because of our Scottish heritage, Amazing Grace was played on a bagpipe.  We ended this second sad episode by taking all the kids to Disneyland so the trip ended on a high note.

Within a few weeks of returning home, there was a special music program at their elementary school.  A bagpipper came and played Amazing Grace.  It was the straw that broke my oldest daughter's resolve.  When tears welled up in her eyes, o boy sitting next to her started to tease.  She stomopped the top of his foot so hard he had to be carried to the nurse's office!  Thank God his foot wasnt broken!  My daughter, who had never been a problem before, was whisked off to the school counselor's office where Mr. Dewey was able to tenderly coax the whole story from my her.  She was 8 years old.

A couple of hours later, my youngest daughter, age 6, was at the music class. When the bagpipper started to play Amazing Grace, she ran to her teacher, threw her arms around Mrs. Johnsons neck and began to sob out the whole story.

We learned a lot about helping the girls process their feelings of sadness over Klondike and our two Grandpas.  When we got back from the funerals, we thought they had talked it out enough but, they hadn't.  We needed to make time to keep up the dialog.  Within a month of their grandpa's two funerals my oldest became type 1 diabetic and just a coupole of weeks after that, she broke her foot.  She has always had a long fuse.

You gotta love 'em!  

My oldest is now 29 years old and she still has trouble expressing her feelings.  She tends to internalize everythig, while my youngest daughterm, now 26, will still just tell the nearest listener exactly what she is thinking, and shy
2/24/2011 6:36:45 AM
Tracy Dunham United States
Tracy Dunham
2 words - Teachable Moments.  Tough news is always hard to give and hard to take.  I learned early on that life has enough drama in it, so when I had to deliver tough news to my daughter, I prayed about it first and then let God lead in the way to share it.  More often than not, He took me in a direction where both my daughter and I learned something from the event.  I believe it is best to be straight forward and compassionate because your child needs to learn to deal with all sorts of events in life.  They also need to learn to rely on God and see Him in the situation.  God is ALWAYS faithful to make good of something.  If you make the event a drama scene all the time, then your child will grow up making mountains out of a mole hill.  I also agree with Amy, if the situation doesn't affect them directly, don't say anything.  If it comes up later, then tell them rather off handedly the truth and don't make a big deal out of it.  My daughter is 21 now and is pretty level headed.  She seeks the Lord all the time and it is very clear that she hears His voice.
2/24/2011 6:36:57 AM
Jane Brunson United States
Jane Brunson
My Husband died on January 22,2011 and I had to explain to our 9 year old grandson why his papas' body wouldn't be in a casket due to being cremated. How do you explain that to a child? I cried for days worrying what to do. So the night before the services he was getting ready to bath and I said Kaleb you know papa wont be in a casket tomorrow for the Celebration of Life Service. He said yes I know he is cremated. I asked him do you know what that means and he said yes, but I just got one question what did you do with his body when God took him home? I explained it was in the urn on my dresser. He asked could he see and I said yes he actually wanted me to open the case. I did with much reluctance considering how it had affected me to look. He looked at me and said Nana that is the dirt God made my Papa out of. I said yes son it is, He looked up at me and smiled and said my Papa was Beautiful inside and out Nana. I just cried for such a young child to be so positive.God sure knows how to work it all out. Here I was so worried and God had already prepared him for the experience.We under estimate our children sometimes. God will provide the way if we just pray first.
2/24/2011 6:37:23 AM
Debbie D United States
Debbie D
I was brought up being taught that the truth is always the best. Lies will only get you into trouble. When the time came for me to give birth to my 1st child I made sure I did the same thing. Even as babies going for their vaccinations I have always been up front and honest with them to let them know what was going to happen. I have also told my children that it is ok to cry. If it hurts or makes you sad go ahead and cry because no matter what people say it is NOT a sign of weakness but a sign of courage and strength. It also shows that they have compassion and are caring. Since my first born almost 20 years ago I am very pleased with how I handled situations with my children by telling them the truth. When my husband's father passed away my oldest was six years old. I sat on his bed with him and explained to him that his grandpa was gone and went to live with God. He cryed and then got angry. He told me that he was going to build a ladder up to heaven so he could look GOD in the eye and ask him why he had to take his grandpa away from him. Although it sounds harsh it was very precious to think so innocently. Build a ladder to heaven...really? He learned a life lesson at a very young age but handled it gracefully. He kept his grandpa with him for a very long time. Everywhere we went grandpa went with him. We picked up grandma one day and as she climbed into the van and was sitting down next to him he yelled, "Grandma NO! You just sat on grandpa." My six year old helped his grandma grieve her loss in a way like no other. She also talked with grandpa every evening, like they always did, until she was able to move on. Some family wanted her committed but I told them that she was going to be fine and to give her time to stop what she had been used to doing for years. Habits are hard to break but some cannot be stopped cold turkey without consequences. Losing someone precious to you is one of them. I too talked with him everytime I visited her. My son has grown to be a very caring and compassionate young man. My youngest has vitiligo and before he started going to school I would always remind him of how special he was. Kids can be cruel and that it anyone said anything to him about his skin then he could tell them that God made him that way because he was special. He did and the kids accepted that and things were fine. He is a fifth grader this year and I think hormones are starting to kick in and the hurtful words are wearing on him. Like my oldest boy, he too his very caring and compassionate of others and I give the glory to GOD for that. He gave me the family I needed to be the mother I am today and I praise him for that and everything he has given me.
2/24/2011 6:38:31 AM
Melissa United States
I was listening to KLove this morning and wondering how do you break bad news to kids. I have raised a teenage daughter and I was always straight with her. Kids have a better understand of things that I think we do. i believe that animals are in heaven so unless told other wise that is what I have told my children. They both my 17 yearold and my 3 year old love tht their pets are up in heaven. Kids need to learn to deal with disappointment and death in a healthy manner. That life is not always going to go they way they expect it. If they learn that at a young age I believe they have a better handle on life as they get older.
2/24/2011 6:38:59 AM
Selena United States
I also agree with Monica. My kids are ages 10, 8 and 6. My husband and I have always been open and honest with them with whatever comes our way. We feel it is important to protect them but, by not telling them things would actually be enabling them. They will not learn how to cope with things and will later might think that you have lied to them when they find out the true story of what happened in a particular situation. In the the Bible it says do not lie. So we have always been truthful with our children, but gentleSmile We have used the Bible to answer those tough questions that come along! We want our children to be well taught and know that the Bible is the place to find all answers as well by turning to God in prayer! Even at a very young age we started this conceptSmile I hope this helps a bit Smile

BTW, All three of my children and I listen to you show every morning on the way to school!! We all LOVE it!!! My 6 year old goes to school singing the Klove tune, it is so cuteSmile
2/24/2011 6:39:30 AM
Lenna Vogel United States
Lenna Vogel
My boys wanted a sister. My oldest prayed for 2 years that God would send him a sister. When I was pregnant both my boys were sure it was a girl. They kept referring to the fetus as their sister. When I had the ultrasound and found out it was another boy, they were both very disappointed. My oldest stopped praying for a week and the younger one just refused to believe his sister was really a brother. They did get over it and are very happy with their brother. They do think about having a sister still. We try to remind our children that God always has a plan and things always work out for the best, but it's okay to feel sad at times.
2/24/2011 6:41:31 AM
aj United States
How to break something bad?
In March of 2008 my mother passed away.  We flew to Iowa for the funeral. Our 5 year old son had never been to a funeral before.  At the wake, my husband and I went up to say a prayer at the casket.  I tried to leave our son with someone, but he wanted to go up with us.  As we were walking up I was trying to explain that Grandma was in heaven with Jesus.  He turned to see the casket and said "no she isn't she's right there".
My husband and I had to turn our heads so not to let him see us laugh....children are so literal...didn't know what to say, but I was glad for the laugh and the moment.
2/24/2011 6:41:42 AM
Amy Luellen United States
Amy Luellen
Hey Lisa and Eric!  I was listening to you talk about this on my way to work this morning and wanted to share a couple of things with you.  It reminded me of when my oldest son, who is now 21, was younger.  To him, his whole identity was wrapped up in being 'the athlete' in the family.  He had played on a travel basketball team for several years and had just participated in try-outs again for his 6th grade season.  One evening while he was in the shower, his coach called to tell us that he had been cut from the A team and moved down to the B team.  I knew this news would devastate him, but I had no choice but to tell him.  After his shower, I went into his room and told him straightforwardly.  And then I held him while he cried and cried.  Being a mom is tough!  I told him that God had a plan for him, and that God was going to use this painful experience later in his life.  Maybe one day he would have kids of his own that would go through something similar.  Or maybe one day he'd be a coach and remember this night and be able to be as compassionate as possible in similar situations.  My son is now a junior in college and studying to be a coach & teacher!  

Secondly, Lisa had mentioned that she wished there was a book to help us out during these times because she's afraid of not having an answer to the questions that might be asked.  We have such a book in the Bible!  And, one of the best things that I've learned is that "I don't know" is an answer.  Many times I've told my children that I didn't understand either, but that I knew God was in control and one day we'll be able to ask Him all our questions!
2/24/2011 6:44:41 AM
michael United States
My son was born 2-23-2011. He lived for just a few hours. Me and my wife had to tell our 2 daughters. We told them that the lord gave Him to my mama that died the week before Him. I think it helped them to understand why he had to leave us so soon. We also told them that some things we will not know the anwers to until we get to heaven.  
2/24/2011 6:46:09 AM
Tim Griffith United States
Tim Griffith
Love K-Love and really enjoy your show.  When it comes to telling a 3yr old bad news, especially death.  One thing to be carefully about is not saying, "We have to put Rover to sleep, or Uncle Frank went to the hospital and went to sleep and won't be coming home."  Imagine this conversation:  "Johnny, we had to take Rover to the Vet today." "Mommy, whats a vet?" "A vet is a animal Doctor." "Oh, why did you have to take Rover to the Vet?" "We had to put him to sleep." "Johnny, Uncle Frank had to go to the hospital today. I'm sorry but he went to sleep and we won't see him anymore."  (The next day, Johnny is ready for his nap time.) "Johnny, it's time for your nap. Go to your room and go to sleep."  ..... Do I need to contuine the conversation?   Just be careful what you say, children can get the wrong idea.  
2/24/2011 6:46:19 AM
Cori United States
Eric hit it on the head,you need to be honest and compassionate. I have a 19, 16 and 9 year old and have had to tell them many hard things. When my 16 year old son was 9, I had to sit him down and tell him he had cancer. I also had to sit my other two children down and let them know their brother was very very sick. In every situation we are honest with them and provide love and comfort.After we talk we then pray and ask God to give us what we need at that time. Whether its peace, comfort, guidance, security, wisdom. Whatever it may be He is our Great Provider and sees us through every situation. My son is now cancer free! Praise God!!!!
2/24/2011 6:48:33 AM
Zan Bramley United States
Zan Bramley
When our daughter was ten our dog, Pepper, died.  When explaining that Pepper was in heaven she said her friend, David, told her that was impossible because animals don't have souls.  I called David's mom, a good friend of mine and she subsequently had a "little talk" with her son, David, who wanted to grow up to be a priest.  These were her wise words to him: David, I have three questions to ask you.  When God created the earth and all that's in it what were the first living creatures He created?  "Animals, Mother.", he replied.  And David, when man had sinned and the earth was to be destroyed by a flood with what did God ask Noah to fill his ark?  "Animals, Mother.", he said again.  And David, when God sent His Only Son to be born of a Virgin in a stable, what was all around His infant Son, Jesus?  "Animals, Mother.", he again answered.  Well then, David, if God thinks enough of animals in all these intances don't you think He will have animals in heaven?!  "Yes, Mother, I do...and I will apologise to my friend, Shawn."
2/24/2011 6:49:52 AM
Liz United States
I had to tell my 9 yr old son this past Monday that a teammate/friend had been killed in a car accident that afternoon. I had to learn real fast how to be the adult. I told him through tears & we cried together. I was in control but yet we have cried & mourned together all week. I've tried to follow his lead as to how he needs to mourn whether he needs me to cry with him, he needs his space or he just wants to talk about it. It's been devastating but yet my 9 yr old little boy has said some of the most mature things this week about God & eternity. I've gotten a glimpse of some things inside him that under normal circumstances I would have never been able to see or know that he even understood. Our kids are listening & growing under us & through church even when we wonder if they are really getting it. I know this week has made my little boy stronger for future trials in his life. I've been so proud of him & so thankful that even though he is a normal ornery little boy, he is really grasping the things of God deep down & he knew exactly who to turn to first when his moment of trials came.  It doesn't get any better than that as a parent.
2/24/2011 6:51:20 AM
Polly United States
I work for a school system and this past Sunday a second grader teacher pasted away suddenly. Thank the Lord we did not have school Monday, so we were able to meet with the teachers and crisis team. We contacted all the parents, except one. We tried and tried to get ahold of the family with no success. All I could think of Monday night is how do I go in and tell a class of second graders their teacher is never coming back? Tuesday morning, as I am waiting with the long term sub, the boy, so family we couldn't reach, was told by a classmate that their teacher dies. As the little boy came screaming into the room where is my teacher, where is my teacher, all I could do was hold him and thank the Lord again, our counselor was in the room. He took the child down to his office to visit with him. I was also thankful because a lot of the parents came in that morning to be with us as we grieved this all together. Children had parents that could hold them, comfort them, and sit by them. Sometimes you have to just ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words. Trust me, that is exactly what I did that day. Tomorrow will be another tough day as the funeral is tomorrow. Please pray the students, staff, and family.
2/24/2011 6:58:08 AM
Blanche Heidengren United States
Blanche Heidengren
I was listening to your program on the radio in the car this morning as I was coming back from taking my 2 youngest boys to their Christian School. It remeinded me of when I had to tell them
over the phone back in August of 2009,  about their older brother's drowning at camp......
We had been with him, and then we left to come home (he was staying for another couple of days)and he was missing the next day. So we left our younger children with some close friends, and went up to the camp and when we got there after midnight, they told us that they had found his body in the lake.
The next morning we had to call our boys and older daughter to tell them the sad news (thankfully Alex is in heaven because he loved Jesus very much). We prayed together before I told them and I said, "They found Alex's body, but his spirit went to heaven with Jesus. We don't know what happened yet, but we do know that Jesus loves you and wants to comfort you and be there for you (they were 8 and 11 and know Jesus as their Savior)and that He rescued ALex from the water and took him to heaven where grandma is, and where someday we will go and see them."  They cried and asked questions and since then we have asked them every few days--'How are you doing about ALex? Any questions or thoughs you want to share?"  And they have been in a good place--we cry together when we hear one of ALex's songs that he wrote and is recorded on our church's CD. He was our church's keyboard player (18) and we loved to hear him play, and we know he's playing away worshipping our Lord in heaven!
2/24/2011 6:59:16 AM
Suzy United States
I believe with what has been already said, you need to be honest and compassionate.  You also have to take into account their age and if the news will really effect them.
Case in point: there was a divorce the in the family.  We have a kid that was 3 and the other that was 6.  The 3 yr old wouldn't really be effected by this, but the 6 year old knew the spouse, very well and was rather attached.
It has been the hardest conversation I've ever had to have.  I sat down and had to explain what divorce was, that they wouldn't see that person anymore but that it didn't mean they didn't love her.  I had to explain that this wasn't God's plan but not emphasize it in a way that would have them confronting the family member.  I also had to reasure that their parents were OK and NOT an option for our family.
It was heart wrenching.  And it was a emotional hot spot for them for a while.  But things have calmed down.  I'm glad that we decided to step up and be the grownups.  I want open lines of communication and I want our kids to start processing the good and bad of this life with their parents right there to help.
Its not an easy line, but one that we are called to walk.
2/24/2011 7:00:18 AM
Karen Francis United States
Karen Francis
When my daughter Amanda (now 22 going on 23) was little, a friend of mine called me to inform me that a family from church lost their 11 year old son to suicide. He had been imitating something he saw on MTV and hung himself. My family and that family had the same last name but were not related, we did attend the same church. I got off the phone and looked at my daughter and cried and cried. she came up and asked me what's wrong mommy, why are you crying? I honestly told her what happened to that boy. She hugged me and told me that's why we need Jesus when we're young, and then she asked me why I waited so long to accept him as Lord and Savior? I told her I didn't have any good excuse, but praise God I was given the opportunity to do that(make him Lord and Savior of my life). I shared with her she already had a head start on me, and I can't look back in regret over time lost, I still can be a witness & light for Jesus. We didn't know that family well, but we were able to encourage that family.

I taught both my daughter and son (my son is now 17 going on 18) they need Jesus for themselves. I've had other hard stuff to tell them, but they know God is faithful and he is good always no matter what we go through. It's hard having to be honest and parents want to protect their kids, but we cannot protect them from everything. We deal with both good and bad, and we don't have all the answers, but we do know the one who does. Jesus. There is a book to help us- it's the Bible. That is our guide for life in every situation for our lives and our kids lives too.
My kids are happy and well adjusted as am I.
Life is good, but with Jesus it's even better!
so follow the Word (Bible) be led by the Holy Spirit, tell the truth honestly and in love!.
2/24/2011 7:03:59 AM
christina United States
In 2010 was the hardest yr i have ever had. In Sept my sister age 29 pasted away with brain cancer, it was the hardest thing to have to tell her son 9, daugther 12 and my three children. Then three months and five days later my son 5, son 13 and daugther 11 I had to tell them that their dad had commited sucide and was no longer here. Im so thankful the god is in our life, god has been the first to help us through the tragie. Im a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for all of us. So im asking please pray for my family and I.
2/24/2011 7:04:24 AM
Julia United States
When my son was 5 his granny got cancer, we were up front with him and told him she was very sick. Within two weeks she had passed away, I am so glad we told him because he knew she was sick and might go live with Jesus. We told him in the most loving way we knew how and we cried with him. He is the best kid he actually became a comfort to us. He still talks about her like she was here yesterday and it has been 2 yrs., he even still cries missing her and we let him know that it is ok for him to feel that way, we are adults and still feel that way. I think the most important part of telling a child something difficult is to let them know that it is ok to be upset and no matter what happens GOD is in control and will take care of us! If you try to hide something from a child they will sense something wrong and might even think they did something. You never want your child to feel like they caused pain or hurt in your family. The best way to avoid that is to be honest with them.
2/24/2011 7:04:42 AM
Jan United States
My children, 10 & 8, have had to hear more than their share of bad news from us. Everything from the loss of pets, loss of grandparents and even loss of pregnancies.  It's not easy to break their little hearts, but as long as you are gentle and really explain things to them, I think it's better to tell them the truth.  They do need to learn that life is not all fun and fairytales, and I think you earn more trust and respect from them when you're honest.  That way you don't have to try to hide your emotions from them by pretending to be happy when you're not.  Kids are stronger than we sometimes give them credit for. This week, for example, my mother-in-law had open heart surgery.  My youngest laid in the bed & cried because he was worried about her.  All we could do was try to comfort him and have him say a prayer for his Mawmaw, and I think we all felt better after that!  Smile
2/24/2011 7:05:14 AM
Debbie Thomas United States
Debbie Thomas
Lisa & Eric, My experience of being a mom of a young daugter with cancer, is to always be honest. You may think that your little one won't be able to handle the bad news, but children are much stronger than we think, especially if they have been raised in a Christian home and taught that God never leaves or forsakes us. Whem my daughter was 10 years old she was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor and only given less that a 20% chance to survive. In a year she endured 2 brain surgeries, 4 months of aggressive chemotherapy, 36 radiation treatments to her head and spine, a bone marrow transplant, 104 days in the hospital, 7 feeding tubes, over 50 blood and platelet transfusions and the news that she was completley sterile from all the massive doses of chemotherapy. She was treated at Duke University and when her doctor gave us the news, her first question to us was, "Am I going to die?" As hard as it was, our response to her was that everyone has to die, but we know that if you have been saved, you have a wonderful home in Heaven with Jesus where there is no pain, sickness, death, or sadness and time is not like we know it here on earth, so it will be a short time until we are all together again. After some tears, she looked at me and said, "Mom, I am so glad Jesus is in my heart, and I am not afaraid to die". That was 18 years ago and she is 28 years old, married and is Mom to Emma Grace. God is suffient for all our needs. With Jesus' help we can do all things and that includes giving our children bad news. May God continue to bless K-Love and the ministry.  
2/24/2011 7:18:40 AM
Rhonel United States
I totally agree with the comments about being honest with your children and use compassion when doing so.  I work at a high school and I come into contact with too many students who do not know how to handle situations when it comes to their emotions.  So many parents are choosing to use medication to help their children deal with emotional situations. If you help them handle the emotional things when they are young they can better handle it when they are older.  Life includes death and tragedy-it is all around us-every minute of every day.  I thank God every day that he is in control and see the "big' picture. Blessings!
2/24/2011 7:22:05 AM
Mackinzie United States
Lisa and Eric,

Here are a few book recommendations for helping children deal with grief and loss.

Always & Forever (on death)
The Kissing Hand (saying goodbye or separating)
The Bug Cemetery (funerals & sad feelings)
2/24/2011 7:39:00 AM
Melanie United States
MommaO How to talk to children about difficult things9:34 am Feb 24, 2011My background in preschool and children's ministry. My degree in is Christian Ministries. I would like to first speak in general and then address the video. Children learn to handle difficult situations by being exposed to, not protected from, small and manageable amounts of stress. Discernment is needed in order to know what is age appropriate and what is not. Then, children generally want far fewer details than adults give them. The basic facts are what is generally needed. They do not have the mental capacity for processing large amounts of information. In other words, they want a little snack of information and adults usually give them a seven course meal and ask for a tip! How do we explain if goldfish or kitties are in Heaven? We don't know. And that honest answer is the best answer. If we lie to make them feel better, we will be found out and the trust we build is lost. I would answer the question this way: I know you are sad about you kitty dying. I don't know if she will be in Heaven or not. But I do know that God is good and cares about what is important to us. I trust him. So can you. As for the video: so many red flags go off here. Why is there such an emphasis on a three year old and major league sports? The tone from the beginning was gloomy. You can hear the dissapointment in the mother's voice. Watching it makes me feel bad for the child because it did not have to be a difficult situation for him. People change jobs all the time. With an upbeat tone in my voice I would have said, "Hey, Micheal Young got a new job! He's going to play for another team. And that's great because even more people will get to be his fan! I bet God has something special for him at his next job. Let's ask God to bless him in his new job." Then the child would not be distressed over something he need not be. So parents, keep it positive if appropriate, keep it simple, and keep it truthful.
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2/24/2011 8:38:49 AM
Elizabeth United States
This is such a precious video and kudos to Michael Young for visiting him! I have a four year old son that in his short life has been confronted with the loss of three dear loved ones. His Paw Paw Jeff, who he knows is in Heaven, died before he was born but he senses something special about him because of the fond memories his Dad and I have shared with him. He talks about him all the time. This past August he unfortunately lost two friends his own age in a tragic accident. I have to say that while it is heart wrenching to explain this to a 4 year old and see him attempt to come to terms with mortality in someone his own age, this child has no fear of death. He asks frequently when he will go to Heaven - as far as he is concerned, there are as many people there (Jesus, Paw Paw, Ava and Jacob) that he loves as there are here on Earth. I've often wondered if I shared too much reality with him.
2/24/2011 8:43:29 AM
S United States
I not only have to tell my children (15 & 13 years old) that their father died but that he committed suicide...that was hard!
2/24/2011 8:53:36 AM
Marcy United States
As a Hospice nurse I often heard people say, "This is the first time I am facing the death of someone close to me." Many times this was due to their parents trying to shield them from grief as young children. So now they are facing the death of a parent, sibling or child, not having worked through the grief of losing others not as close to them and not understanding that death is part of life. I think it is important to be honest, gentle, and age-appropriate with children when facing bad news and/or death. And "I don't know," is an honest answer they may need in response to some of their questions.

In reference to deaths of pets, I like one mother's reply to her child's question if the pet was in heaven: "Honey, when you get to heaven, if you need Skippy there for you to be happy there, he will be there."
2/24/2011 9:00:08 AM
Christa United States
I recently had to explain to my 5 yr old about death.  A boy from our Youth Group died and it was especially hard because I was his HS English teacher.  He helped out in the Pre-K/Kindergarten class for church and my son was very close to him.  In the age of video games and movie characters where death isn't permanent, this is a difficult concept to understand at a young age.  I debated on how to tell him, but I knew that I needed to because he would be asking where Brandon was on Sunday.  I held him and told him about the accident.  I told him that Brandon wouldn't be coming to church anymore and asked if he understood.  I went on to explain that real life isn't like the movies or video games: we can't start over and play again.  He was sad and cried, which is what I expected him to do.  But the best part was that he went to Brandon's uncle on Sunday and told him he loved him and would always remember Brandon.   I believe you have to be honest and forthright even in the difficult situations, especially if it directly affects them.
2/24/2011 9:13:34 AM
Lynne United States
As a mother of teenagers, I am grateful that God let me feel comfortable always telling kids the truth, even when it was difficult.  Last summer, while we were traveling, my teenage daughter's good friend committed suicide.  I knew, because of all the instant access kids have now, that I had to break this news to her.  I knew I couldn't wait until vacation was over.  It was absolutely awful. As I explained that her precious, Christian friend had ended his own life, my heart broke as she cried, and cried, and cried.  But she heard the news from me, her mom, who could explain and love her through it. I could only do that because of the grace of God.  He prepared us for that moment from the time she was a little girl. Every time something uncomfortable came up, we dealt with it honestly and with God's grace.  I didn't hide things from her, but prayed for wisdom and shared the tough things from the time she, and all my kids, were young.  This is the time they're building trust.  This is the time that they will determine who they want news from. God gave me these children and the responsibility to share good and difficult.  There are some things we shield them from, there are other things that we want to come from their parents.  Honestly talk to your kids from the beginning.  Hopefully, you'll never have to tell them awful news.  But by building trust and compassion now, by being honest with them now, you're building this trust will be a lifelong gift of relationship with your kids.
2/24/2011 10:20:25 AM
Kelly Moore United States
Kelly Moore
I do believe our loving pets do go to Heaven...although they make a stop first....I am still suffering heartache from losing my cat, Brutus last month. He was at home in the morning and so sick that night that I couldn't put him through any more pain...so gave him to THE LORD that night. The grieving is undescribable. This website has given me peace and hope that I will one day see my Brutus. Please take the time to watch this short video...it's the answer to showing your children where your pet is and letting them know they are happy and well......God Bless

2/24/2011 10:55:54 AM
Karen United States
The way I told my son anything when he was growing up is....I would take a deep breath and ask Lord Jesus to fill me in his Holy Spirit and let flow the words he wanted me to say.  I have always felt that I have never seen a bad child I have seen parents that don't know how to parent but a baby is born with nothing what they put out is what they have been fed(words action etc.)  The only way this is impossible is if there is an inbalancement, chemical etc.  Jesus promised us that he would never give us a cross we could not bare.  A child is just a small person on a road our job is to love and respect.  We as adults are not better as a whole but better experienced.  And experience is the better teacher.  As far as animals are concerned there is a heaven for us all small big tall short hairy bald swimmers walkers
2/24/2011 1:59:01 PM
Brandy United States
I remember when my daughter was in pre-k at age four her teacher was going to have a baby. The teacher passed out at school and she and her unborn baby died on the way to the hospital. That was the hardest thing for me to tell my daughter. I will never forget her crying for hours and saying to me that she wanted her teacher to come back from heaven. I told my daughter that God needed a special teacher to help with other people. I always told her that God will always be here for us. She is now a freshmen in high school and still remembers that day. She has been teaching children's church at our church for the last two years. She is helping spread the word to pre-k children now.
2/24/2011 2:34:40 PM
Jessica Stoll United States
Jessica Stoll
I am the mother of my wonderful 8-year old son Daniel.  I have always treated him like a young adult and made every effort to deliver sad news to him with honesty and compassion.  In the past year we suffered the loss of our family dog, Shep.  Before she lost her very short battle with lymphoma, I felt it appropriate to explain to Daniel the changes he would see in Shep and why those changes were happening.  He was sad, but I felt he should go into this illness of our wonderful 4-legged family member with understanding.  The day before she died, we both took the opportunity to spend time with her; knowing we were saying goodbye.  I made the difficult decision to have her put to sleep as her breathing had become so labored.  Daniel had many questions about why I was taking Shep back to the vet.  Through countless tears, I explained they will help her fall asleep and not hurt any longer, not have her lumps and bumps any longer and she'll be able to breathe without trouble.  Daniel asked if Shep would live in Heaven and I responded absolutely!  Shep took such good care of us while she was on earth, there is no better place for her than Heaven as another angel for us.  
2/24/2011 7:00:04 PM
Somer Lawrence United States
Somer Lawrence
It was very hard to tell my 3 year old son that what was making him so sick was a disease called cancer.  It was even harder telling him (age 4 now) that his cancer returned just 3 months after he completed intense treatments. Then the worst came, 4 months later, when my husband and I had to tell our daughters (ages 6 and 9) that their little brother went to heaven to be with Jesus.  And again more tragic news followed 9 1/2 months later when we  had to sit down with our daughters and tell them that 2 of their 7 year old cousins (whom they were close to) had both been killed in an accident.  Complete honestly and an explaination that they can comprehend.  If you don't know an answer to one of their questions tell them you do not know it is ok. If you are dealing with lose always remember that children grieve, they may seem fine outwardly but they hurt too.  I remember at times wandering why isn't my oldest daughter grieving for her brother or cousins but I noticed one evening that she was getting to where she would shut her bedroom door.  I decided to enter her room quietly just to check on her because she didn't shut her door regularly and she was in her bed crying.  She was in so much pain missing her brother and 2 cousins and regretting so much.  When I asked why she didn't tell me she was missing them she simply said, "I didn't want to make you sad".  She was trying to protect me.  Talk with your children, communication is so important in all areas of their lives.  Above all let them know that their feelings are ok and point them to our only true Comforter, Jesus Christ.
2/27/2011 12:29:28 PM
aron United States
My heart goes out to this young man. Perhaps his mom does not realize the effect this video will have on him in the future. To exploit this young mans reactions through the media is bordering shameful notoriety for the mom. Perhaps her ignorance is heritage or education related but evident that her approach by withholding complete definition of the events leading to the teams loss or trade does not allow the young man to qualify or quantify reasoning ability for the event that has been cast upon his emotions. Not asking feedback from the young man and positively defining his thoughts leaves him exacerbated with no outlet in which he clearly turns to sorrow and then anger. The mom could have handled breaking the news much easier and truthful than she did here. This video, in my opinion, is borderline mental abuse and only shows the length in which people will go to negatively exploit the emotions of children to gain notoriety.  
3/7/2011 6:03:24 AM
Lauren United States
That is so pitiful!
Its sad, adorable and funny at the same time!
But I do fell sorry for the little guy....
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