Children, like adults, experience
grief in many different ways, and each has his or her own pace of recovery.
There are things that you can do to help a child through the grief process, which is important to do, as children often
don't understand their feelings, and may need your help, guidance, and support
The most important thing you can do is talk with your
child, and encourage him or her to ask questions. Answer their
questions as simply and accurately as you can.
the child about your feelings, and encourage the child to express his or her feelings. Listen to
what the child says and how (s)he says it. Is the child expressing anxiety, fear, or insecurity?
them explore and understand these feelings. Watch the child at play to see what he or she is expressing
here, as well. Children will often express strong emotions by acting them out through play.
While we're on the subject of playing, consider providing toys and activities that help the child
relieve stress. This can include modeling clay, finger-painting,
playing in water, or other messy activities that allow them to express
themselves and relieve tension and stress.
You may find the child wants to hit or kick things, or otherwise behaves aggressively.
This is normal; encourage the child to express these
feelings by hitting a pillow, stuffed toy, or a ball. This will allow them to express the anger
and tension in a non-harmful way.
the child, letting him or her know that you're going to help him or her through this,
and that you're in it together. You may need to repeat these reassurances
several times, and you may also need to answer questions more than
It's important that you not become impatient with the
child if this happens. You may want to spend extra time
with the child when you're putting him or her to bed, and you may find that even
children who haven't been bothered by the
dark in the past suddenly want a nightlight.
Touch is a key component of healing, especially
for children. Hold and physically comfort the child--you may
find this comforts you during a difficult time as well.
If you're concerned
that the child is taking a long time to heal, or isn't getting his or her emotions worked
through even with your help and support,
you may want to consider finding a counselor for the child. Grief counselors and
other mental health professionals are trained in helping both children and adults
through stressful times and working through