Children and Grief

So often children’s feelings are overlooked and thus, we send the message that their feelings are unimportant.  This can start a life cycle where they learn to bury their feelings under deep layers of pain.   Children need to be encouraged to freely express themselves.

Children need understanding and patience, comfort and acceptance, they are often overlooked because we are experiencing our own grief and loss.

  • Choose a time to talk to your child without interruptions and distractions.
  • Choose a place that is quiet and comfortable – like a walk in a park.
  •  Be relaxed and open to what they have to say.
  •  Be aware of their age and level of understanding.
  •  Keep focused on the child by giving them your full attention.
  •  Listen patiently and if you don’t have the answers just say so.
  •  Show your love and faith that things will work out.
  •  Be aware that children watch how you are acting with others because your actions are more powerful than your words.

It’s hard to tell a child that death is part of life and we grow from it, but we can help each other by just talking openly about the death of their loved one.

Children are just small people and in their grief need the same thing we need – kindness, understanding, compassion and love.

2 Responses

  1. Lisa
    |

    My husband passed away a year ago, and my now 5 year old son has never cried over the loss of his father but maybe once or twice. We do talk about daddy and how we miss him and where we think he is, but I worry that he doesn’t show emotions that I would expect him to. Am I wrong to think he should have cried more?

    Thank you

  2. Mary Francis
    |

    Each child is unique and each has unique relationship to the loss of a parent. Be patient – You have a genuine love and desire to do whatever it takes to help your child deal effectively with the loss.

    I suggest you either go to the library or buy the book “When Children Grieve” by John James and Russell Friedman. It’s the best book “for adults to help children deal with death”.

    Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

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