Child grieving is unique and different than adult grieving. Child grief is multi dimensional based on the child’s age and maturity. Children grieve differently and understand reality and death and loss differently. Due to this, it is critical to discuss loss with children and expose them to the reality of it in a good way.
The article, “How to Help a Child Cope With Grief” by Jen Chesak looks deeper into how one can better discuss loss and grief with children. She states,
“Let’s be real. Grief is tough enough for adults — even though we understand that death is an inescapable part of life. The loss of a loved one is never easy, regardless of our age. That’s why when it comes to explaining grief to kids, we can get a big knot in our throat.”
To learn more about child grief and loss and to read the entire article, please click here
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.”
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.”
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.”
It is very heartbreaking to see one’s child grieve. Helping children overcome grief is an important task of any parent or relative. Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Training can also help parents and friends better understand the nature of grief in children.
The article, “Tips on what to do when a child experiences death and grief” by LOH SIT FONG states.
Losing someone or something we love is part of life. As adults, we are mature and experienced enough to understand this. However, grief and sorrow may be something a child has never experienced before.
To read the entire article, please click here
Grief Counselors Can Help Children at School Grieve Tragic Accidents
In previous blogs we discussed how children react to the loss of a classmate. The article below talks about these ideas in action when an unfortunate summer accident led to the loss of a classmate for the entire school. Grief Counselors who specialize in child grief were called upon the scene.
Sarah Baraba of Suburban Journals describes the story in her article, “Grief Counselors Help Students Cope with Loss in Classroom”.
“Rogers Middle School students returning for the new school year were met with familiar faces of teachers and peers, but there was one face that was missing.
Christopher Marks, who would have started seventh grade this month, drowned in the Meramec River a few weeks before the first day of school.”
If you would like to read the entire article, please click here.
If you are interested in child and adolescent grief counseling, please click here.
Millie Richmond’s short illustrated story about a boy who loses his father shows the emotions and thoughts of a little boy who is experiencing grief. The book illustrates what the child thinks in response to well intentioned but uninformed adults who hope to guide the child through grief. From the pastor to the boy’s aunt, one finds a variety of common things usually said to children in grief that are detrimental to the child’s grief recovery.
In this way, “Daddy’s Gone” not only can be therapeutical for a child but also informative for an adult who overuses various pithy sayings during times of grief. More information can be found on “Daddy’s Gone” at www.millierichmond.com. There you can also purchase in bulk for work groups of grieving children.
If you are interested in Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling, please also review our site and learn more about how a child grieves and other books on child grief.
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C