I Have a Funeral

Updated on July 06, 2009
T.C. asks from Kansas City, MO
14 answers

I have a funeral to attend this week at 10 am and don't have a babysitter. Is it appropriate to bring my 3 year old to attend with me? Its a 1 hour and half drive to get there. They are have a ceremony and lunch afterwards... I just want to know I don't want to offend anyone! Thank you

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answers from Kansas City on

This may be a late response, but I have always taken my children (even as infants) to funerals, friends or family. I think it teaches them about a most significant life event and how its okay to be sad that someone is no longer w/us. I would avoid saying things like "this person is sleeping" etc, and I wouldn't try to over explain the situation either. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

First of all, I am sorry for your loss.

I have 5 small children, and a huge extended family that seem to be getting older.. quickly.

We seem to have a couple funerals a year. When I go, they go. Actually the family loves to see the kids, it cuts the sadness for everyone. (Anytime you see one on TV, kids are always running around right?)

If your child goes to church or to restaurants with you, then your child should be fine.

Mine don't always act perfect, but they are kids, they aren't suppose to.

With a large family, my siblings and I grew up going to funerals, my mom still tells the story of me being 4-5 and asking my Grandma a bit too loudly "....who is in the box this time....she looks like the nice candy lady...I hope isn't her, she makes really good candy and cookies..."

My husband never attended a funeral, except for his grandmothers,when he was 22. So it was a change for him to attend so many after marrying me, but now he really regrets never getting to go with his parents when he was younger.

It is a great way to learn manners and respect for things, as a child. (He had no idea, what the proper rules were at the grave yard for instants...NEVER get out of your car until the body/coffin is in position under the tent.)

If we attend a wedding, funeral, or any ceremony, he insists on having our 5 children with us.

Now there are always some older aunts that comment about how they '..never took their children to things like this..' but their grandchildren are usually attending along with mine.

Of Course after stating all of this the main thing is to DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS BEST.

If you are the type of person that cannot take 1 person giving you "the look" then do not go, or find someone to watch your child. Because at least one person will, more than likely give you "the look"

ALSO..IF you know who is handling the funeral arrangements, they may have a babysitter already arranged for the younger ones. you may want to check.

Good luck, and remember NEVER be embarrassed to bring along your child. When you have Children, they are part of you.....you come as a package.

Good Luck ,and again I am so sorry for your loss.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

By all means take her to the service. The services can be so somber that a little child actually brings some joy to it. I have been to a number of funerals with children and I have taken mine to a few and people actually comment on how nice it is to see children. It reminds them that life does go on and the joy of little children reminds them that although they will miss their loved one, there is still joy in the world.
Have a safe trip and congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

of course you can take your children. My kids have gone to funerals since they were babies. Some people like to shelter their kids away from death but when I was little I went to funerals and didn't have any problems. Being a pastors kid we go to a lot of them. I think kids handle it better than adults sometimes. I would sit towards the back with a 3 year old though and if she starts getting fussy you can exit the room and not disturb the whole room as you would if you were up front.

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answers from St. Louis on

Hi T., We had the unfortunate experience of losing a great many close people in our lives while our daughter was very young. At first, I had no other option, I was nursing her and it was going to be a long day. People oh'd and ah'd over her and seemed to enjoy her presence there. Then an older friend of mine said, "the very best thing at a funeral is children". She went on to say that it reaffirms the joy of the circle of life. It gives people something to think about and look at that isn't death or saddness and boosts most people's spirits.

Since then, I started looking at it in a different light and realized that she was right.

I no longer worry about it. I also spoke with a mental healh professional about a certain situation we had (lots of death and then the tragic death of her 4yr old friend when she was 4 too - this was one they reccommended she not attend - which was my thought too) and they also said that it is good to expose children to funerals and the grief and the process of healing because then they are much more capable of handling it as adults. Check out the children's libraian for book ideas to help answer questions when they come too.

Your baby will be welcomed and so will you.
Have a safe trip.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I think it all depends upon how well behaved you think your 3 year old might be during the ceremony!!! Hopefully it will be naptime on the ride there...give yourself plenty of time to get him/her awake and happy before you go in and then sit to the back so you can make a quick exit if you need to. Just do what you would do on any other trip...plenty of quiet toys to distract and something to munch on if needed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Hi T.,
I'm sorry for your loss and want to applaud you for going and giving your support to the family/friends most affected. Most people shy away from funerals and don't go because it is uncomfortable or inconvenient. I know from personal experience that it means SOOOO much to the family when people come and pay their respects. I don't think there is anything inappropriate about bringing your child. I think it is wonderful and caring of you. And it can be a special time all together. You never know the joy your little one might bring that day to someone that really needs it : )
Good luck,


answers from Kansas City on

the best judge of whether you should take your little one is how they act...there are some children that would be a nightmare in that situation...but for the most part i think a three year old should be just fine to sit somewhat quietly for a funeral...they're not too terribly long usually. mine would be okay...we do church on sundays and he is tolerable. the only thing i would be concerned about is the long drive right beforehand...is there a way your child could run around a bit before the funeral? it might be asking a lot to sit that long, then shuffle him/her into a church and expect them to sit even longer. but i think in general it would be a good idea...i imagine having a young one at the lunch afterward would provide some lighter feelings after a somber day. good luck! (with my son snacks are a guaranteed hit, there are mornings when he eats cheerios for an hour straight in church!)



answers from Kansas City on

Its better to take your child to funerals from baby on up. So when someone close to them dies they will be able to handle it better. This is the way my husband and i were brought up and this is what we did with our daughter. I had a ex brother in law who had never been to a funeral in his life then all of a sudden his mom passed away then a short time later his dad and this was really hard on him not only being his parents but not being to a funeral at all.



answers from Kansas City on

Its going to be a bad day to start i no from experience that when your child starts playing up you might feel any worse as you can always count on them making noise when they dont need them to,lol depends where you live i would love to help you out in this bad situation i no you dont know me but i do have a home daycare and have references so you dont have to be worried on that, the only think is where do you live if you are close to OP then email me if you are interested.

Good Luck



answers from Wichita on

Good Morning T., I am so sorry for your loss. It would be fine to take your child with you. Some people or facilitys have places to take a child and still be able to hear & see the service. I would not worry about taking them. We had a few whimpering little great neices and nephews at my mom's service. Didn't bother anyone at all.

Go and take your little one with you, it would never offend me in the least. Take their lovie or a small book. Will be just fine.

God Bless you and keep you safe as you travel to say good bye.
K. Nana of 5



answers from Wichita on

Might I make a couple suggestions? If it's an option, sit in the back, so if your kid is too antsy or talky, you can step out unobtrusively. Take some quiet toys or crayons and paper to keep the little one occupied. Offer a snack and drink right before the service, so your child isn't hungry or thirsty. These things can help mitigate or prevent unwanted behaviors.

Remember, 3 is old enough to understand behavioral expectations, but not old enough to have good, consistent, self-control. Most adults understand this, and they really do take comfort in seeing younger generations when they've lost a person they love.

If you want to be focused on the service and not distracted by paying attention to your child, maybe you could ask another person there to be prepared to take your child out in case s/he needs to run around or scream. Lots of times there are people at a funeral who would just as soon go outside and play with a little kid.

Hope this helps, sorry for your loss.


answers from St. Louis on

I dont think anyone would be offended if you took your child, but I personally wouldnt. Are you prepared for all the questions your child is going to ask you when you are there. I read that the average 3 year old asks 400 questions a day. Just something to think about.....



answers from St. Louis on

I think you should attend the funeral even if you cant find a sitter. You are paying your respects and hopefully people can understand that. I think every funeral I have been to has had children there. Maybe you should just bring things for your child to do so they wont be bored.

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