When you are grieving and getting ready to attend a funeral, the last thing that you want to do is deal with bad behavior from your child. However, kids may not fully appreciate the seriousness and somber mood of a funeral, and they may act up when it would be least appropriate for them to do so. Take the following actions to make sure your child is well-behaved during the funeral.
Prepare Your Child
If a child has never been to a funeral before, expect lots of questions. Ideally, you want the child to ask those questions before the funeral, so be sure to have a few in-depth discussions about what the child should expect from the funeral before you arrive. You may have one in the morning, and perhaps engage your child in another discussion about it on the drive to the funeral. A child who knows what to expect will be much calmer and accepting of the funeral.
Bring Along Distractions
Any parent will understand your decision to bring along things to occupy your child's attention during the funeral. While older kids will be expected to sit and listen throughout a funeral, no reasonable person will expect that from younger kids. Bring along some simple things that won't be distracting, such as a picture book that a child can thumb through or a favorite stuffed animal.
Take a Break
If you sense that your child is getting restless or is starting to stir, you may quietly and discreetly take your child out of the service for a short break. If it's a long service, others may need to go in and out as well. The break can be short, but just a chance to stretch your legs and talk about what's going on may be enough to get your child back in line.
Plan a Treat for After the Funeral
Explain to your child that, if they behave during this serious occasion, that they will get a special treat afterward. While not exactly a bribe, it will do wonders for your child's motivation. The treat can be something as small as the chance to go for some ice cream or an outing to the movies. Depending on the level of loss you are experiencing yourself, you may enlist the help of your friend to take your child on the fun outing.
Finally, these tips should help you find ways to keep your child on their best behavior during a funeral. If your child does start to lose it, though, be sure to keep your own cool, and proceed to correct the behavior. Most of those in attendance will be understanding, but it's still good to be as proactive as possible in kicking bad behaviors to the curb. For more information about funerals, contact a company like Rose's Funeral Home Inc.