Supporting a Grieving Child

When it comes to supporting a grieving child there are no hard and fast rules and no one size fits all approach. Empathy, love and understanding all play a major part, as does reassurance and not forcing the issue. Common sense plays a big part too, as you don’t want to leave an internet search open with the headingwrongful deaths lawyers near me’. Here are a few general ideas which will help in this situation, and each one can easily be adapted as needed.

Accept the Mood Swings

Adults don’t cope well with grief, so imagine what it’s like for a child. Don’t presume just because the tears have taken a hiatus and toys are being played with again that they are fine now. Children learn the art of distraction from an early age, and if watching a movie or reading a book makes them feel better then go with it.

Answer Questions Appropriately

Many make the mistake of believing that children should be told the truth at all times and while there is a good argument for this, when they are grieving is probably not the best time to overload them with information. Answer their questions as honestly as you can but without adding to their pain. There is a multitude of online resources available if you feel you are floundering and not helping the child as much as you would like you.

Talk About the Deceased

Although it can be tempting to not mention the person, or people, who have died, it’s not a good idea. If this child has lost a parent or sibling they may well think that your reticence to talk about them is because you have forgotten them already. Obviously this is not a case but a child’s grief is riddled with confusion, loneliness and, even if they weren’t there, guilt. You must keep their memories alive.

The Funeral

Attending the funeral can really help some children to come to terms with their loss, but it can make things so much worse for others. A lot depends on the child’s age as well. Are they of an age where they fully understand death and what it means? How will they react when they see the coffin knowing the person they loved so much is inside? If they say they want to go, and you think they are old enough to make that decision, you should probably go along with their wishes as the last thing you want is the grief morphing into bitter resentment because they believe you kept them from saying goodbye.

Grief Counselling

If you are really struggling with the whole situation then you should maybe seek some guidance from a grief counselor. This is especially relevant if you too need to grieve but are holding your emotions in to take care of the child/ren. Yes, you need to take care of them but you must be in the right frame of mind to do this. Having an emotional meltdown further along the line due to not being able to go through your own grieving process will cause you all unnecessary suffering.

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