How can you help your child cope with the death of a loved one?

Canada
June 30, 2008 2:16pm CST
We all feel the penetrating pain of the death of a loved one; it's a common feeling to all. Unfortunately, our children suffer the same grief and this can be so difficult for us parents to deal with. We want to be able to help them as much as we can but it's sure difficult to find much written on this subject. I've found some interesting points that I thought I'd like to share with anyone who might need them (taken from the watchtower,July 1,2008) 1) "Should I hide my grief from my child? (...)Many parents have found it best to be honest about their sorrow, thus showing their chid that it is normal to grieve(...)." 2)"Should my young child attend proceedings at a funeral home or at the graveside or be present at memorial service? If a child is to attend, it may be wise to explain to him in advance what to expect, including why the service is held. Of course, in some circumstances, parents may decide that there are good reasons for their children o to be present for all or part of the services to be held." 3) "Should I talk to my child about the deceased loved one? Some researches says that if you completely avoid this topic, your child may mistakenly conclude that you are keeping something secret about the deceeased or are trying to erase all memory of that one. Author Julia Rathkey observes: "It's important to help children learn to live with the memory and not to be afraid." Speaking reely about the deceased, including mentioning positive aspects of that ones' personality and life, may well help in the frieving process." 4)"How can I help my child while he is mourning? During the frieving process, your child may experience physical sumptoms, perhaps illness. The childmay become angry or troubled because of feeling helpless and frustrated. Do not be surprised if your child is plagued with guilt, clings more closely to you, or panics if you arrive late or become ill. How can you handle your child's turmoil? Your child should never feel that you do not notice that something is wrong. So be perceptive and monitor the situation. Try not to misjudge or underestimate how much your is affected by death. Provide regular reassurance, and encourage questions and open communication..." 5)"How soon should I restore family routine and other activities? Maintain as many routines as possible, say experts. Keeping healthy routines is said to be an effective tool for managing grief." I found these points very helpful for any of us who need to help our child through this type of difficult situation and I hope they can be a source of help to your and your beloved children.
1 response
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
9 Mar 09
Great advice!! We all have to experience loss at some point in our lives, some at a younger age then others. Not all loss is just ppl either, losing a pet can be just as hard for some. My niece and nephew lost their mother when they were 3 and 1. It was very hard for both of them and my nephew who is now 11 likes to lay on my bed with me and talk about his mom and what she was like, what she looked like, how she acted...all the things he never knew. We talk about the baby shower she got while pregnant with him and all kinds of things. I think it makes him feel closer to her and gives him some connection to her even though she's been gone a long time. Sometimes just letting them talk helps alot too. [b]~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]