Children and Grief (Part One)
I read this article about children and grief and wanted to share it with you. I feel it will provide some valuable insights into how to help children cope with their grief. Since there is so much information, this will be a two-part blog.
Talking about the loss of a loved one can be difficult for an adult. Think about how difficult this conversation can be for a child who has experienced a loss. In an effort not to upset their parents, children might not want to talk about their feelings.
Parents, family members, teachers, and any other adults can help children grieve and offer their support. They can talk to the parents to see how they can support the child and their family.
How do you start the conversation with a child?
You can share memories about the loved one with a child. Children and teens may not feel comfortable to share their feelings and stories right away. Give them time. You can share your stories, memories, and feelings to help children and teens feel more comfortable.
Schedule time with the child or teen.
Encourage the child or teen to come to you at any time. Children and teens may be reluctant at first to talk with you. Schedule some dates and times to talk with them first. This may start to open up the communication.
Keep the Communication Simple
Explain to the children that the person has died. Do not be afraid to use the terms death or died. Refrain from using the term the person “fell asleep”. This could cause anxiety about their parents falling asleep or their own falling asleep. Your honesty at the level of the children is very important.
Allow them to be Children
Children and teens can not mourn 24/7. No one really can. It is not healthy. They need to share other emotions too. Schedule time for activities that center around them. They need to laugh and have fun too. Children and teens need to experience some “normal” time.
Grief is a journey for children too. They cannot go around it. They need to go through it and experience it. More tips for helping children through grief will be shared next month.