Kids Will Take Their Cues From You!

Listen to this obituary

 In good times and in challenging, trying times, kids will “take their cues” from you! defines “take my cue” this way: Follow the lead of another, as in I’m not sure what to bring, so I’ll take my cue from you. This expression, first recorded in 1622, alludes to the cue giving an actor a signal to speak.

        Children are born as little audio and video recorders and take their cues from us. The occasion of death and the process of dying, as well as our journey to recovery through grieving, is being observed and adopted or rejected by those around us, including our children.

There’s an interesting Bible story in 2 Kings 20:12-15 (NKJV), and we’ll just note the conclusion:  
14  Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, … “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

        If you and a child are standing on a street corner and there is a wreck in the intersection, that child will take their cues from you. If you panic and fall apart, the child may choose to do the same. If you keep calm and dial 911, the child takes note and stays calm and learns to become a helper.

        I never want to minimize the importance of an individual’s expression of their grief, but we are not in the grieving process alone. This means that when death comes to my life and grief follows, I will have checked in with my health care provider. I may need someone looking over my shoulder medically, and I may need temporary or ongoing medicine to help me stay calm and to sleep at night. I personally have an abundance of resources for pastoral care, and I have my counseling professor’s phone number committed to memory. What resources do YOU have, and when (not if) the time comes, will you use them?

        Grieving affects us physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. We need to be looking out for one another in each of these areas during life’s (and death’s) trying times. Don’t forget the little ones. Kids will take their cues from you!

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Doug Greenway

These blog articles are written by the retired minister and former educator and counselor, Doug Greenway. He'd love to hear from you with your comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You may reach Doug at

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