It is not easy to talk about death. Talking to children about death is all the more challenging. We stress about making sure that they understand, but we fear we are sharing too much. Fortunately, there are healthy ways to discuss death with your kids using something they like – movies.
For children, it is a good reminder to talk in ways they will understand. A great way to discuss death is through movies. Movies provide memorable imagery and strong messages!
Movies To Consider
Coco (released November 22, 2017)
Coco is about a young boy, Miguel. Miguel messes with his family’s ban on music and finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead. In a vibrant, light-hearted adventure, Miguel unlocks family secrets and gains an understanding on love, death, and the importance of family.
Coco is a great movie to help children process death. This movie can provide families the opportunity to process and heal together. Reflect together on the messages and have a family discussion. Consider talking about:
How is the Land of the Living different from the Land of the Dead?
How does music help Miguel and his family?
Why are memories so important?
How may the imagery help us to heal?
Are there times they may struggle listening to family and listening to their heart? How might Miguel’s story help them?
Onward (released March 6, 2020)
Onward is about two animated elf brothers, Ian and Barley. They go on an adventure to try and bring their father back to spend one more day with him. In an adventure of laughter, uncertainty, and growth, they learn to value each other and value the gift of time.
Onward is a great movie to snuggle together as a family and enjoy some quality family time. Your children will understand the importance of family. Some good discussion questions to have with your family include:
How did the brothers support each other during this journey?
Which character did your child relate to most? Why?
How does the journey help the family grow closer together?
How Can I Help My Child Deal With Death?
Be honest with your child, but remember that they do not understand everything. Have a conversation in ways they will understand. Movies are a great way to relax, bond as a family, and receive an important message. Find movies where the characters are going through the same process as your child.
We Are Here For You
Remember that a child’s first experience with death can feel scary. Taking the time to use movies to discuss death with your kids can help ease your child’s concerns. Children enjoy learning things visually. Make the most out of this opportunity to help them process and grieve. Have questions? Send our grief counselor Julia Rajtar an email or find helpful resources on our grief support page. Discover healthy ways to grieve together as a family.