Monday, 6 June 2022

Grieving


 It's extremely tough on us when a loved one dies. But it can be even tougher for a child (although it sometimes seems like they are unaffected or unconcerned) to cope with such events and talk about those feelings in a healthy way. They might not have experienced the loss of someone dear to them before, so they don't have the skills to cope with it and understand what happened.

How adults and children grieve depends on so many variables: developmental stage, personality, their relationship with the deceased, it can depend also on how often they spent time together, or how those people were involved in daily routines, the support offered to them, etc.

How can we make this awful experience better for our kids?
1. By being there for them, as much as we can - it's okay for them to see us cry, mad, and to observe how we deal with the event. And both might need extra hugs and cuddles.
2. By explaining how and why we are feeling sad, angry, buffled.
3. By using simple words and not overexplaining.
4. By thinking about how things will change for the family and the child (daily routines, family gatherings, etc.) and by talking about these with the child, to prepare them for the changes.
5. By not avoiding talking about the deceased: it is hard, but once you feel comfortable, talk about what sort of person they were, what they liked doing, look at photos and talk about nice things you did together. But do avoid talking about how sick they were in the hospital, how they struggled, or what sort of death they had.

It's completely up to you if you decide to take them to the funeral. But if you do, think about what will happen, where you will stand, if the coffin is closed or open, and decide what is best.

Have you had a death in the family? How did your child cope with it?
Please share your advice. I am sure it will help a lot of parents who are going through this.

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