Should I take my 3-year-old to a funeral?

Would you take your active 3-year-old to your cousin’s funeral in Chicago? We would probably be driving (a 7-hour drive). My husband doesn’t want him to go, but I feel that he should. We would be traveling with four other adults and a five month old baby.


What part of chicago?

Depends who the funeral is for

If there is someone you can really trust to keep him,probably be best for all y’all?

Depends why you feel like he should go? Were they close? If he didnt know him then I wouldn’t bother. But I took my 3 year old at the time to my uncle’s funeral. We drove 7 hours aswell down south.

No way. Be fair to the child. Is it your need driving your decision?


I just went to my best friends nana’s funeral and there were young kids running around her great grandchildren and it actually brought some peace and lightened up the situation.

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a 7 hour drive with a toddler can be rough, especially if emotions are already running high. at three, he may not be able to sit quietly for a funeral, so it really depends on the service itself. you know the people attending, would THEY be okay with a toddler? personally, i wouldn’t take him, but that’s me. he wouldn’t remember it, and the rememberance and sharing stories of the person who passed would be lost in him. :woman_shrugging:t2:

Personally, I would…especially if you were close with your cousin…so sorry for your families loss.

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I wouldn’t, kids pick up on emotions more than anything else that young. Language and expressing emotions is still limited. The heaviness of a funeral must be so hard for them to process.

But it’s your kid, you know them best and would know if they are emotionally developed enough to understand and process.

I didn’t take my 3 yr old to my grandmas funeral. No travel required. I didn’t want his last vision of her that way. I know how bad it fucked me up at such a young age.

The funeral is for a cousin? So no I wouldnt bring him. When you think of active children in a small space all I can imagine is the things he can knock over/break.

No. Most 3 year olds can’t be quiet for that


No,. He’s to Young to understand. Leave him with a friend or relative.

I don’t bring my kids to funerals or weddings (unless they are in the wedding obviously.)

Yes, if he does well with the drive.

I would. We include our children in everything, even funerals. I live 13 hours from family and they would be super upset if I came down and didn’t bring the kids. :joy:

I took my 2 yr old and 4 yr old to my pops. my whole family was there so it was best for me to take them. We were immediate family.

I would not bring any children if I didn’t have to

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I was taught kids shouldn’t be at funerals until they’re tall enough to see into the coffin. Along with other reasons…

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I personally would. Death is a natural part of the circle of life, and the more sheltered they are from it, the more traumatic it becomes.


If you’re asking because of emotional reasons, it’s based on your child and maturity.

I have never sheltered my kids with this subject. They’ve gone to funeral homes. They know death is a real part of life. We have talks about things like that.

It’s a true personal opinion, Momma.


I lost my mother when my youngest daughter was 2 and will be 3 in March. She wasn’t going to miss her grandmothers services. My now 9 year old has lost both my mom and dad (my dad passed away before my 2nd daughter was born. Death is a part of life, don’t make them fear it. It’s okay to grieve. Also, she’s 3. She probably won’t understand much of what’s going on. Just do what you feel is right.


Why not, if the child is not being a problem at the time. Meaning fussy or crying to we’re it bothers others. Sit towards the back so you can step out if needed.

If it’s a whole service, especially if it’s open casket, I’d say no. But I suppose that’s your decision.

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You can take him on the trip, but he shouldn’t go to the funeral. He’s too young.

I took my baby to hi grandads funeral if it’s someone who knew the baby I don’t see why not

Children that young don’t understand. I’d avoid it if at all possible.


For a cousin? No, i wouldn’t bring him. I took my 3yo to my daddy’s funeral, but it was his Papal. When my cousin passed 4m l8r, I left both my boys home with their other Papal to go be with my family. Just my opinion but I wouldn’t take them to anyones funeral who wasn’t immediate family.


I took my son who was 3 at the time to a funeral for my cousin. For anyone who says they are too young to understand is wrong. My son knew. And I talked to him about it so he was well aware of the situation. He said his goodbyes and for the most part he was good until he saw another girl his age playing. If the child knew this person and was around this person, I would bring them. Children can be taught how to be respectful when it comes to stuff like that. If they aren’t close, or barely saw them to remember then it’s just up to you. Long drives are terrible with children of that age but as long as you have help with the drive or can remain calm durning this emotional time then it will be alright. It’s honestly just up to you and how you feel about it. I’m very sorry for your loss :disappointed:

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My daughter is now 4 and has been to 3 funerals. Shes ADHD and very active she did great. She did ask a lot of questions this last time my cousin passed away (she was 3) and she even asked to see him in the casket. She understands life and death now.

No I don’t think bringing a child into that environment with all the emotions being young is the best idea. If it were my child I would not bring them. If the child was older than that I think it would be appropriate because they understand what’s happening


Yes. I’ve taken mine and it was fine. No one but you knows your child(ren) so only you can make that call not the strangers of the internet.

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It depends on how close the child is with the person.

My son had just turned 4 when my granny died. We saw her every other day so he was very close with her. We took him to the funeral with us. We explained in a way to him what was going on. we didn’t force him to go up to the casket, but he did ask to go see her and say goodbye.

It hasn’t traumatized him, and he still occasionally talks about her. While he didn’t cry at the funeral, he did get emotional a few months later when he looked at a picture of them together and told me how much he missed her.

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Yes I have been exposed to tangihanga at a young age. It is not traumatic because it is about life and death and what happens in life. Why do people stop children attending the passing of a loved one. There is nothing scary about it. I am quite comfortable and my children have been brought up about tangihanga. We would sleep with the tupapaku and tell stories and sing.

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I would but each person is different on this

No. My kids dad died when they were 5,6,7. I was forced to explain death and then cremation. My middle son now had PTSD from the images of what I had to explain. You have a choice…I didn’t. Besides, a 3 year has no reason tone there anyway. You’ll spend more time chasing him and trying to keep him occupied than actually morning and paying respect.


My son was 3 when his grandpa on his dads side passed away. He was at the funeral for part of the visitation and he sat through the funeral. However, there was no drive and it was his grandpa. For a cousin and a 7 hour drive, if I could find childcare I would.

My exs dad passed away and his sister brought their 2 year old son …no one saw a problem with it

I traveled when my older daughter wad only 3mo old, lots of getting a bottle thrown at me when she was hungry, tought to her by my mother, and her then bf who was the driver (Texas to Minnesota).

and my grandfather passed away this year, and my partner and i brought our active daughters to his funeral. Before it actually started, we were informed that the church we were at had their nursery open for the kids.

ask a family member of they’ll be a room for the kids at the funeral to answer both of your questions.

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Nope, not unless I planned on not actually being part of the funeral… Like not being present, but being there for my spouse…

The decision should be based on these 3 things:

  1. How hard is a 7 HR car ride going to be for him.
  2. Do you have someone to care for him that he enjoys being with if he doesn’t go.
  3. Are you willing to take him outside during the funeral if he can’t be quiet during it, without becoming perturbed with him for being an active kid.

In my opinion only if YOU KNOW how they would behave!! When my sister passed away a year and 1/2 ago my two daughters brought their young children as well. For them it was a 10 hour drive(There was no one else to watch them ) I realized just how competent my daughters and their husbands were. As one child would run out of the room a parent would go out each door of the room to corral the little run away. Now this funeral home was filled with pretty (and priceless) antiques. But my daughters were very competent!! They had a handle on the whole situation. Small children can not be expected to sit still and an active 3 year old just can’t. Afterwards I had relative come up to me and compliment as to how good my daughters and their husbands were in keeping theirchidren in line.

It depends on if he knew the person well or not? Would him not going stop you from going if so take him but bring something to entertain him with.

I say no. For many reasons.

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no he is too young

We just took our 3.5 yr old twins to my mother in laws funeral a couple weeks ago… it was fine. Other kids were there. We felt it was important for them to be there. Take snacks! Drinks!

No all I have ever seen it has been traumatic on young kids they don’t understand

my son was a year & a half at his aunt’s funeral this past summer. My daughter was 7 for it. Its truly up to you. Children understand a lot more than most realize. Just explain things in simple terms for the children to understand but not to where it scares them.

I absolutely wouldn’t unless they were:

  1. Close to your child
  2. You couldn’t find someone to watch him
  3. Young children of that age are very impressionable. Every child would react differently, but I, personally, wouldn’t expose my child to death unless they were close or they were at the age to understand and be able to work through their feelings with words and not actions.
  4. He could act rowdy, and people may find it extremely disrespectful, even if he is only 3.
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Leave him home if possible

I took my children the youngest one was 2 at the time was my grandma funeral and 5 at my pap funeral. I dont regret taking him. But everyone has own opinions with it. And u know your child better then anyone

I’ve taken all of mine to family funerals, no matter their age.

I’m saying no very hard. You have no idea how your child will respond. My sister was 8 when our grandmother died my parents brought us all…
She freaked out… then again she’s always been a little shit. But because of that it’s making me say no

I wouldn’t if i had a safe place for them to stay

I wouldnt. It wont be any kind of memory or blessing for them to experience it… and they very well could make the situation tougher for a grieving adult…

We brought our 6 year old and 3 year old to their great grandmas. And they sat perfectly still. The 3 year old wanted held. It depends if they were close to them and how they will behave during the funeral. Maybe try the visitation first and see how they react. If they don’t do well. Bring a friend along to watch the little one so you can still go. Sorry for your loss by the way

When my aunt died, all of my cousins brought their kids and i brought mine. We sat in the back incase they got too roudy. The only thing you should really worry about is the car drive. Make sure u have activities in the car and leave with enough time to make stops for potty breaks or to get out for a bit

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Sorry for your loss. Prayers lifted. I’m from La and we take all our kids to all funerals we attend. We always have no question.

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No I wouldn’t take him.

No I wouldn’t take my 3 year old

I took my daughter when she was 4 to a good friends funeral and she’s usually pretty high strung and active but she sat there the whole time she could tell so many people were very sad she even got emotional and cried she still asks to this day about it so it’s really up to you on how you feel about it

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I would. Especially if the kids knew said cousin. It opens up discussions to help them understand the concept of death, and helps to give them closure in understanding that they won’t be able to see this person anymore.
My daughter came with me to my nannas funeral when she was 3. Mainly because my entire family was there and I had no one else to leave her with. She was fine sitting still and being quiet for the actual funeral, but started getting antsy for the burial. At which stage I just took her away from the others a bit so I could sit with her and keep her occupied until all the talking was done.


We took ours to their Pops, our youngest at the time was 3. They even went to the viewing the day b4, but they were given the option and chose to go! 3yr old was so sweet when she saw him and have him a kiss

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Sweet baby Jesus no! From experience my husband’s grandma passed. My 3 year old, whom I was holding at the casket, announces…“WELL, SHE’S DEAD, LETS GO” louder than ever!!!


A 3yr old may not be a good idea at a funeral. They are too young to understand that they need to sit down and be quiet and they aren’t going to understand what’s going on. So unless your child can sit still and not want to run around then it might be best to find someone to leave him with.

I wouldn’t. They’re not going to understand.

My aunt in law passed in August and I have a 41/2 year old and a 3 year old and I didnt take them to the funeral or anything because I knew they wouldn’t understand

No. My son was 3 days shy of 5 when his godmother passed away and I still didn’t take him. He didn’t habe any reason to be around all the sadness.

No. Give yourself a minute to grieve and him a fun weekend…

I’ve taken my kids to every funeral I’ve gone to since they’ve been born but my kids are used to sitting in church … I reccomend quiet toys or books, snacks, and a sippy cup

I would IF the child knew the person. I was 3 when my grandpa (mom’s dad) died and I remember him very well. But at his funeral I didn’t know he was dead and I kept telling people “shh pawpaw is taking a nap don’t wake him up” idk why but my mom eventually took me away from the visitation and took me to show me where she worked at the nursing home. Guess she didn’t want me to realize he wasn’t sleeping when they closed the casket.

I personally would not want to go on a 7 hr car trip with a 3 yr old. How do the other passengers feel about it? A funeral is probably not the best place for a 3 yr old either but that’s just me.

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No, it’s not like the child have any idea who this person is? Was ur cousin such a significant part of the child life and even then,I would say ur husband is right!!!

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I have a 14 year old and sometimes I don’t even take her I know its reality and she will have to face it one day but if I can keep her away from the sadness and depressing time that’s what u wanna do but if u choose to take your kids that’s fine as well there’s really no age limit on it it’s just everyone’s personal opinion

A funeral is not a place for a 3yr old.People come to grieve not to hear the whining of a toddler. Do everyone a favor leave the kid home. Less stress for all involved.


I wouldn’t unless it’s the only way you can attend the funeral.

My daughter lost her pappy at 4… Now that was traumatic given that was her best friend… She still hasn’t gotten over it over 5 years later… It affects her so deeply it cannot be placed into words… I do not know the situation, nor context of the relationship with child to your family member, but from my ecperience, some times it is best for the child to be there and some times it is beyond detrimental. I dont know. The best i can say is if you ask if they want to say good bye and they want to go, use your best judgement. Each child handles grief differently. If you fear emotionsl harm, make it a fun time with a sitter so the child isn’t bored or emotionally harmed by the nagging absence of his/her parents knowing the situation. It is a dual edged sword with no true answers.

I took my two year old to our uncles funeral, then when my grandpa died last year (she was 4) she went mainly because she loved her great papaw and she deserved to say goodbye to him one last time too. I’m not sure about everybody else’s funerals but when my family gets together we are celebrating and enjoying seeing each other. it’s not a completely sad time. I wanted her to see family she’s never seen both times. if there comes an inappropriate time then just go into the next room. But to each their own.


You do what you’re most comfortable with. Giving him to a trusted family member or friend to babysit or bring him along with you & make it a fun trip for him after the funeral. Personally, I’d do the second option but that’s just me! :upside_down_face:

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Yes. Death is apart of life.


I’ve never hidden death from my kids. It’s a sad fact of life but it’s a fact that they will eventually have to deal with. Kids need to understand that some times people go away, but that they gain an angel in the process. There are gentle ways to help to help them understand


I’d say no the only funeral my 3 year went to was his dad’s

We took out 3 year old to her grandpa’s funeral. All though it was tough. They had a little room off to the side, so I sat in there with her and have her some snacks. She did much better in the side room with me verses out by everyone else. Just know the child is going to want to run around and everything. So if you take them see i did they have a side room so you can keep your child in there while also attending the funeral.
Good luck mama :heart:

It’s up to you my son has been to several funerals he was really good durning them just take something to keep him quiet

Idk…sometimes, funerals can mentally mess up a child. My sons dad passed away in August 2019 and I took him because I wanted him to be there only made an effort because I know that when hes older he’d have questions. Now, he is more naughty and acts out and fights more. I wish I never did it but I figured if I didn’t he’d hate the fact that I didn’t take him when he’s an actual teenager. He is 7.

No it might scare him.

My first funeral was at the age of 4. My son is 3 and went to his first funeral this year. I’m not going to leave my child with someone for a funeral, he has gone everywhere with us since the day he was born and he wasn’t the only toddler there either. This is a part of life and I feel the sooner they see it the better.

Nope. My kids are too wild for funerals right now.


I wouldnt hide it from the kid. If they were close why dont you ask your child if they want to go and explain what it is

That’s a long way with 2 kids in the car

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That is a long drive. Is he like this around others or just when he is at home? Maybe bring a babysitter with you and leave him in motel room with babysitter if you are worried. I had a family I babysat for and went to the coast with them to take care of the girls while they went clam digging. At a funeral if you choose to take your 3 year old maybe no viewing the cousin. I doubt your 3 year old will understand anything about the funeral. IF you are riding with others you might want to ask their opinion if they know your child.

  1. so sorry for your loss.
  2. I just took my 4 year old twins (plus the older 4) to my grandmothers funeral last week. They don’t understand what’s going on, you do have to remind them to quiet down for the respect of others, but it’s a lesson they’re going to have to eventually learn. My experience could have been better, but could have been soooo much worse. For the viewing and funeral services (all were done at the same place) they spent most of their time in different rooms. The people that ran the funeral home live upstairs so they have a fish tank in 1 room and had a dog. The burial I ended up taking my youngest son to the car, but his issue was he really didn’t understand. All he knew was he was outside and there were people there that were watching him and he can be quite the clown. If you think your kid will be ok, take them.
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I dont see why not? I’ve taken my children to funeral. Now the drive? That’s all a personal decision if my kids couldn’t do long care ride then yeah maybe a babysitter is your best option!

No, the trip, services and emotions would be terribly hard on a 3 year old. Go and pay your respects without the 3 year old.

I would and jus dont walk up to the casket.

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I wouldn’t travel with any babies or toddlers, funeral or not.

No only if he was close to him funerals are depressing and well at least for my kids I would not want them to remember stuff like that unless it was somebody who was in there lifes and they went to say goodbye.but it’s truly a blessing up to you

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My daughter was almost 2 when my MIL passed away. She went to the funeral and it was quite the ordeal. I say if you have someone who can watch him, I’d say leave him home.

Death is apart of life hes going to have to learn :woman_shrugging: dont hide it, explain it

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