Talking About Loss With Children
Growing up is an ongoing process and grief in part of that process.
Children do not grieve the same as adults. Children can go back and forth in the grieving process. Fine one minute, not so good the next. Children not only have different needs during a loss but also more needs. The experience of loss affects each child differently.
Don’t be afraid to talk about death or loss.
Share some of your own feelings
Have them talk about feelings they have regarding the death
Try and understand how your child may feel.
Grieving process can include:
• Feeling Numb emotionally
• changes in appetite
• anger, irritability
• fear and anxiety
• difficulty sleeping
• regressive behaviors
• stomachaches/ headaches
Some of the ways they show grief may be:
stomach aches or headaches
lack of concentrate
problems dealing with school work
being mean to others
anger towards friends, family
crying without obvious reason
Remember to provide:
** A safe environment where your child feels able to express feelings
** Don’t forget that children need to know what is happening – Explain things
** Give them time to talk, ask questions and share concerns
** If a child feels unable to talk about their feelings, try and make a way for them to feel comfortable in doing so.
** Share your own grief with the child. Don’t be afraid to share how you’re feeling. This will show them their is nothing wrong with the way they are feeling and that it is okay to talk about what is bothering them.
Always remember to seek council for any situation that seems out of control and that you feel you may not be able to handle properly. There is nothing wrong with getting some professional help.
Further Reading on Loss and Grief HereMary Beth is the Owner of The Review Cottage. A Freelance Photographer and the mother to 3.