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‘Daddy, Bili Ka Ng Mommy!’ Kids React To 'What If Mommy Goes To Heaven?'
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
  • We all agree that kids say the darnest things. So, imagine the answers children can come up with if they were asked a question like this: ‘What will you do if mommy dies and goes to heaven?’

    Children react to death

    A parent in our Smart Parenting Village Facebook group actually posed this question to her three year-old and got quite an interesting answer.

    “Hello mga Nanays and Tatays pwede patanong sa mga 3 year old niyo if ano gagawin nila when you die? Yun anak ko kasi ang sagot ‘I will find another mama,’” a mom shares.  The answer was honest and raw but still it came as a surprise that the mommy couldn’t help but ask, ‘Bakit naman ganun, anak?’

    Soon enough, the other ‘villagers’ in the thread began to ask the same question to their kids and the answers ranged from the very funny to the really touching. While some dads gave their partners a gentle scolding for asking such a question, it can’t be denied that the kids’ answers gave a glimpse as to how children deal with death, viewed life, and regarded their parents’.

    Another mom shares that back when her daughter was only three, they went to the wake of a relative. On the way home, her daughter asked where her cousins’ mommy was?  “Sabi ko nasa heaven na with Jesus. Then bigla sabi nya mommy promise mo hindi ka mamamatay ha. Mahal na mahal kita,” she shares.

    Another asked her three year-old if he wanted another mom if she went to heaven, and her kid’s reply touched her.  “Ayaw ko po. May mama ako, may Ate, may Papa, may Wowa, may Wowo, may Kuya, may Tita, tapos maganda si mama." This mommy couldn’t help but be flattered by the last line and quips, “Higit sa lahat gandang ganda sya sa akin.. first time to hear it from him.”

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    Another mom asked her nine year-old daughter the same questions and to her surprise her child elicited a fake cry, "Waaaahhh!!! I will cry for 10 hours!”

    One mommy didn’t see her 3 year-old son’s reply coming, “Sabi sa Daddy nya ‘Daddy, bili ka [ng] Mommy’ Tinawanan ko lang.” 

    For her part, one mom didn’t foresee that she would rattle her 11-year old even if she was directing the question to her 5 year old.  “Yung 11 ko [sabi] ‘hala, bakit mama may sakit ka po ba?’ ‘tas yung asawa ko [sinabihan ako], anu daw ba yung mga pinagtatanung ko. Napagalitan tuloy ako.”

    Children’s and their concept of death

    Children’s concept of death are different and evolves as they grow older, according to an article in Stanford Children’s Health. Several factors may influence their concept such as emotional development, past experiences, media exposure, or direct experience such as a death of a family member, a relative, or a pet. According to the same article, an adult's feelings about death are often transferred to his or her children.

    The article breaks down the way children see death.

    1. Babies do not have concept of death.

    On the other hand if a baby is terminally ill, he or she will express fear through crying.

    2. Toddlers do not regard death as a permanent event.

    “They may feel anxious and afraid because those around them are sad, depressed, scared, or angry. Toddlers may not understand the terms ‘death’ or ‘forever’ or ‘permanent,’ according to the article. 

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    3. Pre-schoolers begin to understand that adults fear death.

    They still do not fully make a connection between death and permanence especially since many cartoons show that death may be reversible. However, this stage is where they ask the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’. Being aware of emotions like guilt and shame, it is important to reassure this age group when death occurs in the family so they will not blame themselves for it.

    4.  School-age children begin to have a realistic understanding of death and may view it as permanent.

    They may personify death and relate it to angels, ghosts, and skeletons. “Fear of the unknown, loss of control, and separation from family and friends can be the school-aged child's main sources of anxiety and fear related to death,” according to the article. 

    In the end, it is important to give children a healthy perspective of death and much of it has to do with the attitude and values we attach to it. The same article sums it best with these lines: “Treating death as a part of life is hard. But it may help ease some of the fear and confusion linked with it.”

    Here's a guide on how to explain death to kids.

    What other parents are reading

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