Children who lose a parent need guidance, counseling and care. The loss of a parent is a permanent loss that has life long implications for a child and it is important a child receives emotional support. Children need to learn how to adjust to life but also still be secure.
The article, “How To Help Children Handle Grief After The Death Of A Parent” by Kelsey Borresen states,
For bereaved children dealing with the loss of an important figure like a parent, these intense feelings can be particularly hard to process. Kids need their surviving parent, caregivers or the other trusted adults in their lives to help them navigate the murky waters of grief.
Explaining death to a toddler can be difficult. Children throughout their development require certain explanations about loss. Much of this is based on their understanding and comprehension of loss. Toddlers and their feelings still need addressed. They will notice the loss and need reassurance.
The article, “How To Explain Death To A Toddler, According To An Expert — Because It’s Just Part Of Life” by Jennifer Parris states,
“Forget about the birds and the bees. The talk that most parents dread having with their small children is the one about death. It’s an uncomfortable subject that many people don’t want to deal with, much less try to talk to a child about. I mean, how do you really explain death to a toddler? It’s a subject that none of us truly understands in the first place.”
Miscarriages can be very confusing for children expecting a baby brother or sister. Parents need to be able to explain the loss in a logical way to the child. How to go about explaining loss can be difficult but it needs to be done in a sensitive but informative way
The article, “How to Talk to Your Kid About Miscarriage” by Meghan Moravcik Walbert states,
“Despite how common miscarriage is, those who go through it often find it to be a painfully isolating experience. It frequently happens before the expectant mom or couple have told friends or family—or even their other children.”
Miscarriages happen in families and it is important to discuss with other children in the family. To read the entire article, please click here
Children suffer from separation. Whether by death or divorce, the reality of dealing with a separation from normal life is real for children. Children need to be counseled and guided through this difficult times of separation and adjustment.
The article, “Helping children to cope with separation and grief” by Sheila Wayman states,
“It’s important for us to think about separation, not as an event in a child’s life but as a process over years, says Nixon. Often preceding the separation, there is a deterioration or breakdown of the parents’ relationship. Then after the separation there is a period of reorganisation, “maybe chaos”, around living arrangements and access to parents.”
One of the biggest questions of parents is if they should expose their children to funerals. Funerals are an important event for younger children to attend. It allows them to understand death and also say goodbye in their own way. One should not overload an individual child’s understanding but exposing one to the ritual of death and loss is a healthy experience.
The article, “Dear David Coleman: Should I bring my son to his grandad’s funeral?” by David Coleman states,
“Even witnessing the burial or cremation of the body can be helpful for children to understand something of the process of death in our culture.”
The ultimate fear of any parent is to discover a school shooting at one’s child’s school. This fear does not subside afterwards for many, even the survivors. Many children need counseling for trauma and parents have to learn how to help their child through that trauma.
The article, “Dealing With Trauma: How To Best Support Your Child After A School Shooting” by ADHITI BANDLAMUDI discusses this and how to help your child. The article states,
“In the wake of the shooting at the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, parents all over the country are struggling with difficult conversations about safety at school. One student was killed and eight were injured. Hundreds more lived through the terrifying experience of a shooting at their school.”
Children can become fascinated with the concept of death at a young age. Many children are influenced by magical thinking and cannot conceptualize the permanence of death. Other children come into contact with death usually with the loss of a small pet such as a fish or hamster.
The article, “Why Do 4-Year-Olds Love Talking About Death?” by Jessica Grose looks at this curious interest. The article states,
“When our older daughter was 4, it seemed like she was asking us about death constantly. These questions were apropos of nothing; we hadn’t had a death in the family or lost a pet. What was jarring was her matter-of-fact tone.”
Healthcare professionals need to understand the nature and grief of children. Children grieve differently and need guidance. Certified Child and Adolescent Grief Counselors can help in this process.
Some may already be licensed counselors, others may be social workers or health care providers, but a certification in Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling is a useful tool in helping grieving children.
The article, “When Children Grieve: 10 Important Points for Youth Welfare Professionals” by Irene Searles McClatchey looks at important aspects of child grief. The article states,
“The following 10 tips for helping grieving children and teens and their caregivers derive from my own practice with bereaved children. I have held healing camps for children and adolescents bereaved of a parent or sibling three to four times a year for the past 24 years. Over this time span it has become evident that children need to have their grief acknowledged and a space to have their feelings listened to.”
Interesting article on experiencing grief at a young age and how it affects one in adulthood.
The article, “Tragedy, magical thinking, and the lasting impact of grief” by Geraldine de Brit looks at a tragic loss of her mother and sibling in an accident and how she felt and adapted through the years.
The article states,
“Even now, 42 years later, this event still has the ability to feel unreal, like it must have been a mistake and I ask myself, “ how could it have happened? How could I not have seen them in all this time?” In such moments it can even feel like they might still come back, like I am leading an interim life until they do.”
Those who experience more loss when young have different outlooks on life. Youthful grieving takes a toll but also prepares one for life and how to cope. It can also though if not handled correctly, cause future grieving problems. Hence it is important to help the young grieve properly.
The article,7 Ways Grieving When You’re Young Changes You, According To Experts, by Lindsey Mack states,
Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult at any age. But for children who experience grief at a young age, the effects of this loss may continue into adulthood. There are quite a few ways grieving when you’re young changes you in general.