Thursday, January 14, 2021

How to Help Your Child Deal With Grief

 There is no denying that the last year has been a difficult one. While there may be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID-19, much damage has already been done. 

You may have experienced everything from job loss to the adjustment of working from home or homeschooling your kids for the first time. Or, perhaps the pandemic rocked your family on an even deeper level, if you lost a loved one or close friend. 

If you did lose someone close to you, you might have a hard time grieving on your own. But, it’s important not to ignore how your child(ren) might be feeling. Kids can grieve just as much as adults can, and their genuine feelings need to be acknowledged, not ignored. 

So, what can you do to help your child through the grief process? 


Be An Active Listener

One of the best things you can do for your child is to listen. Let them know you’re there for them whenever they want to talk. But, don’t feel as though you have to force the issue. You can (and should) be honest about what happened in an age-appropriate manner. But, don’t pressure your child into talking to you until they’re ready. 

You can create openings for conversations as often as possible, but if they feel backed into a corner, they might feel scared to talk about what they’re really feeling. That’s not uncommon, mostly because they may not fully understand those feelings. 

Acknowledge and Accept Their Feelings

Children may not grieve in a particular “order” the same way many adults do. That’s okay, and it’s to be expected. Because your child might not be able to understand their own feelings, acknowledge whatever they are. 

Tell them it’s okay for them to feel a certain way, and help them to process those feelings. Talking about loss isn’t something that should be “hidden away”. Helping your child to work through those feelings now can make the process of grief easier for them later on in life. Self-care is just as important for kids as it is for adults. So, as you help them to accept their feelings, work with them on ways that they can feel better, and take care of themselves. 

Find Joy in the Sorrow

One way you can help your child to deal with their grief is to bring joy to the situation. If they lost a family member or friend, don’t be afraid to share stories about that person. Or, give your child something they can use to remember their loved one (if they’re old enough), like cremation jewelry from Memorials.com. Bring up memories, and keep those memories alive for your child even as the years pass by. It will give them a better understanding of what loss really means, and how valuable the people in our lives truly are. 

Losing someone on this earth doesn’t mean they’re lost for good, and it’s important that your child knows that. So, find moments of joy in the midst of grief. If nothing else, do it for your child. But, you might start to see that those moments of joy can help you to deal with your own grief, too. 

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