SIGNIFICANCE: an important research priority is to explore parents’ perspectives of the introduction of end-of-life care (EOL) options for a dying child by their health care provider. AIMS: to examine parents’ perspectives of: (1) the timing and method used by health care providers to introduce EOL options for their child and (2) what their preference would have been regarding the selected time and method to introduce EOL options. DESIGN: retrospective, descriptive study. ANALYSIS: qualitative method, content analysis. RESULTS: the retrospective study design gave parents the ability to reflect on what was helpful or harmful when health care providers introduce or discuss palliative and end-of-life care options for the dying child. Important suggestions were shared regarding when this information should be discussed with the parents of a child with a life-threatening illness.