Reddit Reddit reviews Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

We found 21 Reddit comments about Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Death & Grief
Grief & Bereavement
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children
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21 Reddit comments about Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children:

u/wanderer333 · 138 pointsr/Parenting

A few picture books you might read together -- Lifetimes, which gives a comforting non-religious perspective on the cycle of life and death; Goodbye Mousie, which features a boy about your son's age whose pet mouse has died; and Todd Parr's The Goodbye Book, which is about saying goodbye to a goldfish (from the perspective of another goldfish). Just keep reassuring him that he won't die for a VERY long time, and that death is what happens when animals and people get very old and sick -- it wouldn't be much fun to stay like that forever, so when they get too old and sick to be happy anymore, they stop being alive, just kind of run out of steam. (And hopefully it will be a while before he has to deal with death in a less ideal context...)

Since he's already been exposed to the idea of heaven from your mom, you can tell him that some people believe animals and people go to another world after they die; it makes some people happy to imagine that place and tell stories about it. You can say no one knows for sure what happens after we die, besides our bodies turning into Earth again, so it's okay for everyone to have their own ideas about those things. Personally I view heaven as a comforting story rather than a literal place -- and I think it wouldn't be confusing or a cop-out to describe it in those terms. You can also talk about how even after people and animals die, we keep remembering them, so they're always with us, in a way. The book Always and Forever does a good job illustrating that idea.

It's pretty normal for kids to be freaked out when they first encounter the idea of death; just keep validating his feelings and talking through them, and he'll probably work through it soon.

u/hazyharpy · 13 pointsr/atheistparents

Get the book "lifetimes" it explains life and death as a natural process and leaves out any magical ideas. It helped both of my kids understand death when our dog died.

u/tryptophantastic · 6 pointsr/Parenting

First, I'm sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how tough it must be to lose your mom so suddenly.

In regards to your question, I strongly urge you to be open, honest, and empathetic with your son. Tiptoeing around the issue or using euphemisms is only going to confuse him further, and may even make it more upsetting for him.

A few months ago I had to explain to my (also very verbal) 2-year-old about her father's death. I was very anxious about how to handle it but I did my best to answer all of her questions completely without making it overcomplicated or offering unsolicited details. I also spoke with her daycare teacher so that she was prepared to handle the topic should it come up, and so she knew how I was framing the issue (e.g. please don't tell my kid that her dad is an angel watching over her or anything like that).

Death is a very abstract concept and it definitely took some time before the message got through to my daughter that death was permanent and that her dad was not coming back. For a couple weeks after our initial conversation, she kept springing intense, emotionally-loaded questions on me out of nowhere. Even though it was hard, I wanted her to feel comfortable asking me these types of questions so I made a point of keeping myself composed when I responded. I also occasionally checked in with her to assess how she was processing things, and to see if she had any additional questions (she usually did).

This book might also be helpful: Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children Several people have recommended it to me but I haven't gotten around to buying it yet.

u/RansomPowell · 5 pointsr/atheistparents

When my wifes grandmother passed away about two or so years ago, we got this book for our kids to help them understand death.

Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

It explained it pretty well and seemed to answer their questions at the time.

We lost our dog a year ago to cancer. Then, they wanted to know more, and the movie Coco helped us with that one. We explained that part of the movie was made up for the cartoon, but the part about people and pets in this case, live on in our memories seemed to help.

u/scarabic · 4 pointsr/daddit

Sorry for your loss!

We decided to teach our kids about mortality early, using the excellent book Lifetimes as supporting material. We rarely get questions about where the dead go anymore, but we would answer them as “that was their lifetime” and then talk about all the impacts that person had and all the ways we can remember and honor them. If it’s family we talk about genetics and how the departed literally live on through us.

We’re completely atheist and I understand not everyone would choose to do it the same way, so just throwing it out there in case it’s helpful.

Again so sorry for your loss.

Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

u/cellblock2187 · 4 pointsr/Parenting

I recommend the book, "Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children" (

I really appreciated this book, and we started reading it around 2 or 3 years old. I was really afraid my kids' first experience with death might have been a close relative (who has recovered), and it was important to me that we got the concept of death into the picture before we were actually in mourning.

u/Bearhugswnucleararms · 3 pointsr/Parenting

I say pick her up and let her say goodbye. I remember my parents would always put down my pets behind my back, I'd always get so upset that I didnt say bye. This is also a good book (non-religious too if that matters) explaining death using animals.

u/help007 · 3 pointsr/Parenting

I'm so sorry for your loss.

If you need a book to share with her about death in general, I can highly recommend the book, "Lifetimes". It is simple enough to read to all ages, though I choked up the first few times I read it to my kids, and there weren't even any recent deaths in our family at that time.

u/sandiabee · 3 pointsr/Mommit

I'm very sorry for your loss! It's not about losing a parent, specifically, but to answer your question, Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children is a very helpful book, even for younger kids. I hope you find some good resources!

u/ozyman · 3 pointsr/Mommit

I really like this book:

It's non-religious. Talks about how everything that lives has a beginning, middle, and end. Plants, animals, humans, everything.

u/EatYourCheckers · 2 pointsr/Mommit

I think not sugar-coating it is best. This age your son is able to understand things better than you might think. One other thing I would add to that the previous poster said, is tell him that it is okay to be sad, that you and his dad are sad, too. And that he will probably always be a little sad but the feeling will get easier after a while.

These are 3 books I have on hand. My daughter was very broken up when our dog died, and her Grandmother is failing in health as well:

u/toomuchweightloss · 2 pointsr/Parenting

My daughter is the same age and very sensitive emotionally, so we've started talking about death because, well, sometimes we step on a bug and it dies and that's sad. She's never encountered the death of a person or animal she has a strong attachment too, though.

There's a lovely book called Lifetimes that is non-scary and easy to understand. It talks about how all living things have a lifetime. Some have short lifetimes and some have long lifetimes. This is not good or bad, it just is. It goes into a lot more detail and talks about feelings when someone/something reaches the end of its lifetime, but really is a lovely book. I haven't read it yet to my daughter, but I use that language to explain death to her when she encounters it (however minor these experiences really are). She seems to accept it, and it has the benefit of not bringing illness or age into the equation.

u/Trisunflower · 2 pointsr/Parenting

I really, really like reading this book to my kids when we talk about death. Basically, it says dying is part of living. That all living things are born, have their lifetime, and die. It's sad, but that's the way it is.

u/luvdisneyland · 2 pointsr/Parenting

This is a wonderful book that helped so much when dealing with death and young children. We read it when my grandfather was dying and my kids (they were 4.5) knew him well. We revisited it when when our dog had a sudden illness (brain tumor) and died very quickly.

u/thereisnosub · 2 pointsr/raisingkids

I really liked this book for explaining her grandparents' death to my daughter:

Beyond reading it to her, I also found it comforting and calming for me when I read it to her.

If your family is religious there may be other texts that do a better job giving context and meaning to death, but as someone who doesn't follow any particular religious teachings, I really liked the way this book presented things.

Other than that, I would just try to be involved. There can be a lot to do with legal documents, property, burial, etc. Call and ask how they are doing and what has been keeping them busy, and then see how you can help with that?

u/JordieBelle · 2 pointsr/Parenting

Lifetimes is quite a good book about death for children.

u/groundhogcakeday · 1 pointr/Parenting

Get this book:

Your library will most likely have it; it was a children's librarian who recommended it to me. This book works equally well for theist and atheist families; it neither presumes nor contradicts any beliefs about life after death. It explains death in the context of normal natural lifespans, which it seems your dog managed to enjoy. It demystifies it and makes it unscary without sugar coating it.

u/midwintermoons · 1 pointr/Wicca

I think this kind of thing probably happens to all kids in some way at some point. If he's especially sensitive then it's not really surprising to me that this is weighing on him so heavily. Have you thought of getting him some books on the subject? I gave some to my nephew when his grandmother died because my sister-in-law said he had a lot of questions about where she had gone.

One of them was The Tenth Good Thing About Barney which is about a little boy who loses his cat. They bury him under a tree near the garden, and the "tenth good thing" is that Barney is there helping the flowers grow. Another one I gave him was Badger's Parting Gifts. Badger dies and all his friends are sad, but then they start recalling all their memories of him, and all the things he taught them to do, and conclude that he is still with them in that way. One that I didn't end up buying but may be of interest to you is Lifetimes. There are some negative reviews saying that it doesn't get spiritual enough and therefore isn't comforting, but it would be a good way to show how life and death is simply a part of existence.

u/Paxtian · 1 pointr/exchristian

Death is tough to deal with no matter your beliefs. Get together with mutual friends and family members. Remember the times you spent together with each other. Be shoulders to cry on for each other. Grieve and mourn as you need to. Things will get better over time. Keep in mind that you still have your life to live, and count yourself fortunate in that respect. Your life will go on.

By the way, we bought this book for our three year old daughter to explain death. It's actually a beautiful book, and she's picked up on the concept that for every life, there's a beginning and an ending, and living in between. It's meant as a book for kids, but the message is pretty solid for everyone: life has a beginning and an ending for everyone, but in between, there's living. Enjoy the living part as best you can.

u/DontRunReds · 1 pointr/atheism

You may want to get her a book that explains death that she can look at on her own. One I had when I was young was called Lifetimes, I found the link for it here:

It's okay if she gets upset about death. I remember that book made me sad, but that's okay. Kids need to learn to deal with emotions of all types.

You can also talk about what some people believe (heaven, reincarnation, becoming a star, etc) and what you believe.

u/kdmartin · 1 pointr/toddlers

There is a really amazing book called Lifetimes that I love for this purpose. I’ve been reading it to my daughter since before she could talk. I think it will help her have an understanding of the concept of a lifetime and what being gone means.