Miscarriages are sometimes a forgotten grief. Parents suffer greatly who lose a child due to miscarriage. It is unseen, and sometimes unknown, so the ability to find support can be difficult. Both husband and wife share in the pain but many times the born children are left in the dark regarding the lost. Children need to be explanations if a miscarriage occurs.
These explanations need to be age appropriate. They also need to ensure the child knows there is no blame for the loss but that sometimes these things can happen.
The article, “How To Talk To Kids About Miscarriage” by Jessica Zucker takes a closer look and on how to discuss the loss during miscarriage to children. She states,
“Much like conversations centering around divorce or a parent separation, it’s common for children to immediately blame themselves for a pregnancy or infant loss. This is primarily due to their cognitive development, which leave them centering themselves and/or only seeing things through their perspectives. So it’s vital that throughout the conversation, and perhaps even at the start, you remind your child that they are in no way responsible for any pregnancy outcome, especially one that ends in a loss. And, that it’s not the fault of the mom either.”
Please also review The American Academy of Grief’s Grief Counseling Program as well as its Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Certification and see if they meet your professional and academic needs. The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Shootings and other traumatic incidents are becoming more common in society. One was once something that only happened in other parts of the world are now happening in America. Shootings at schools or public places create an intense trauma for children. How children are able to cope after a shooting will be pivotal for the rest of their lives. It is crucial to understand the nature of trauma after a public shooting and how to talk to children.
Whether the children or involved or witness it on television or the media, it is crucial as parents, educators and counselors to be able to better help children understand what occurred and how it affects them. It is critical after such an event to ensure the children they are safe. It is important to explain what happened and to be open to any questions. It is as best especially with younger children to try to ensure a continuance of routine but still be open to questions and reassurances of safety.
Many children after such severe traumatic events may exhibit a variety of issues. Some may exhibit irregular sleep patterns and nightmares. Others may exhibit more severe anxiety, or outbursts of emotion ranging from anger to sadness. Others may become more introverted. New fears may also emerge. It is critical for parents and educators to monitor children after a traumatic event to see if any of these issues arise.
The article, “Guide to Coping After Mass Trauma: School Grief Counseling Techniques” from Bradley University looks closer at the symptoms of post trauma as well as immediate aftermath response. The article states,
“The triggering event for trauma may be as widely shared as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or as personal as witnessing or surviving a major traffic accident. Regardless of the source of the trauma, children and adolescents need support and understanding as they work through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.”
Grief counseling for children is essential for children who face trauma. Some children may require more indepth counseling from Licensed Professional Counselors as well. Trauma scars the mind but with proper guidance and coping methods, children can be guided through the process and find strength and security. Not acknowledging trauma is the worst thing anyone can do. Please also review our Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
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 support.
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