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Helping children with grief

grief

For a child, a grandparent’s departure usually is his or her first introduction to mortality. If you want more information on how to help a child deal with a grandparent’s loss, read on to learn more.

Although the loss of a relative is a traumatic incident, it can help a child understand death and mature as a person. 

Parents and other grandparents play a vital role in shaping how your child deals with such a situation. 

If you are a parent or a grandparent, below are some suggestions that will help the child move on healthily.  

 

  • First, don’t feel like you must answer every question of the child. 
  • When the kid asks you a question, make sure that your answer is short and straightforward and age-appropriate.
  • Don’t stop your child from grieving. Keep in mind that the child may face real grief later, and learning to deal with grief early on will help them later on as an adult.
  • You mustn’t use terms like sleep or rest to describe death. It will confuse your child and can cause a fear of sleep
  • Listen patiently to what your child is saying to you. And observe how he or she says it. 
  • Make sure your child doesn’t take death as a form of punishment. Help her/her realize that it’s a part of life. 
  • Be as honest as possible. Don’t avoid the word “death”. Help him/her understand it’s not something to be afraid of. 
  • Your child may ask the same question repeatedly, even weeks after the incident. So, don’t assume that you won’t have to explain something again. Be patient and answer every time. 
  • As difficult as it may seem, it’s essential to help your child realize that the grandparent won’t be returning.
  • Try not to associate death with ailments. The child may get fearful of diseases. 
  • Try not to associate death with old age either. Instead, tell him or her the benefits of getting old. 

Taking the Child to Visitation, Wake, or the Funeral

While it’s not recommended to take your child to the funeral, visitation or a wait , you still have the option to do this. However, it is vital that the child understands that people may be crying at the ceremony. If your child is sensitive, it’s better not to take them to any grieving event.

Helping the child in the Long run

Your child may also need to be comforted even after weeks of the death of the grandparent. A picture or a memento of the deceased can be a good source of comfort for the child.

You may also observe behavioural and physical changes in the child. These changes mostly go away with time. However, if they persist, talking to a counsellor can be of great help. 

 

Final Thoughts

In most cases, a grandparent’s demise is the first incident that introduces a child to death’s reality. If you are a parent or a grandparent, keep the things discussed above in your mind while interacting with a grieving child. 

It will help the child go through the trauma healthily, but it can also grow the child in maturity. For more resources, visit some of the links below.

Resources: 

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Posted by: Sarah Dixon | Posted on: February 11, 2021 | Posted in: MINI ME

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