Did you know that most children are able to start understanding death by the time they’re 4 years old?
Although losing a loved one never gets easier as we age, learning about it at a young age can help children better understand the world and appreciate what they have.
Do you need help dealing with grief in children? Keep reading for 5 tips that will help you and your child handle bereavement.
1. Explain Using Language They’ll Understand
Figuring out how to talk about grief is challenging no matter how old your child is. The important thing to remember is to never be vague about what happened. When you use terms like “gone” or “no longer with us,” it’s easy for your child to misconstrue what you’re saying and not understand reality or the permanence of the situation.
Younger children don’t need to know all of the sad details of what happened, but they must understand what it means when someone they love has passed away.
2. Take Time to Answer All of Their Questions
Childhood grief can be confusing, which only adds to their pain. This is why you should always sit down with them and encourage them to share their feelings and ask any questions.
While you have this chat, don’t forget to be mindful of your tone and body language. If you want to cry, then don’t be afraid to cry, because this shows your child that it’s normal to feel sad. Giving out lots of hugs and affection can help both of you feel better.
3. Learn About the Stages of Grief
Coping with loss looks different for everybody, but there are general stages that most people can expect to go through. Anger can be one of the most alarming stages parents witness. This is why it’s helpful to learn about these stages and what you can do to help your child vent their emotions in a healthy way.
4. Be Patient and Help Them Stay Busy
There’s a fine line between giving your child the space they need to process their loss and keeping them busy for their mental health. Routines are a crucial way to help your child feel more normal and secure.
Let your child know that they can always talk to you about their feelings, but try not to linger on sad subjects for too long. Doing a fun activity afterward will help them stay strong.
5. Plan a Local Funeral
Planning a local funeral is important for many reasons. Some of these benefits can include being able to meet with more loved ones and not having to endure a long trip while you’re grieving. A funeral can be tough for children, but it’s a good opportunity for them to say their goodbyes and have some closure.
Now You Know How to Deal With Grief in Children Better
Handling grief in children can be heartbreaking, but coping with loss together can help both of you grow stronger. With these 5 tips, you’ll be much more prepared to help your child navigate these deep, hurtful emotions.
Do you want to know other ways you can help your family enjoy a better life? Don’t forget to explore our blog to find more informative parenting and lifestyle guides.