Nearly everyone has noticed a badly behaved child when out in public. It's usually easy to grin and bear it. Simply looking the other way is usually the best option since you may not know the complexities behind a child's behavior. However, if you notice that a misbehaving child is causing chaos at a funeral, you may be driven to take action. Here's what you should do if you notice a badly behaved child during a funeral service.
Get the Facts
First of all, be sure that you know who the child is and what the child's relationship is with the deceased. A child who has lost a parent may act out because of grief, and a funeral may even upset a child who doesn't know the person who passed away. In any case, it's important to know the situation that has brought the child to the funeral in the first place. If a parent is giving a eulogy or serving as a pallbearer, the child may be left in the care of someone who usually doesn't watch them, which can inspire a tantrum. Only act after you know the facts of the situation.
Be the solution to the problem if you can. Unless you are very close to the deceased, one way that you can help the funeral go more smoothly is to offer help. This takes some charm since parents can sometimes be offended at offers of help with their children, but many will welcome the assistance.
If you know the parents well and feel that they trust you, offer to take the child outside for a little bit. If you don't, you may ask the parents if you can offer the child a snack or little gift. For example, if you have a pen and a notepad with you, you could offer that to help keep the child occupied during the service. If you simply offer help in a friendly, non-judgmental tone, you may save the day.
Talk to the Child
If you know the child well enough to have a direct discussion with them, try to speak directly to the child. When you use a small whisper, the child may pay even more attention, and you may be able to calm the situation by simply saying some of the following things:
- I can tell that you're upset. Do you want to hear what I did the last time I was upset?
- Let's play a game. It's quiet time right now, so let's see who can be the most quiet for the next 15 minutes.
- You know, I get scared in new situations sometimes. Are you scared right now? If you're scared, I want to remind you that you're safe.
Ask for Help
If you don't know the child and feel that the situation is out of control, you may report the situation to the funeral home. While each funeral home may have its own ideas and policies regarding problems with a funeral, you can get further help and guidance by asking for help. Just be sure to avoid burdening a grieving family with further frustration during this painful situation.
Finally, when in doubt, try to ignore the misbehaving child if you do not know the circumstances and can't find out more information without further disrupting the funeral service. Try to focus on the deceased and provide support to the bereft family and friends at the service.
Contact a business like Fletcher Funeral Home PA for more help.