It’s natural to want to protect children from difficult or painful experiences, but when it comes to grief, it’s important to be honest with them from the start.
Here is some advice on how to help children through a grieving process.
Be honest with them
Our instinct is often to protect and shield children from the truth, but children need to know what’s happened just as much as adults do.
Children are highly perceptive and may pick up on things even if you don’t tell them, and they may be left with questions and anxieties if they don’t have the full story. It’s important to talk to children in age-appropriate language but give them the full truth so they can process and understand what has happened.
Allow them to ask questions
It is important to create an environment where children feel safe to ask questions and express their emotions. Please encourage them to share their feelings and listen to them without judgment.
Children may express their grief differently through play or art, so be open to how they express themselves and provide outlets for them to do so
When children experience loss, their world can feel unstable and unpredictable. Maintaining routines and structure can help them feel a sense of stability and security. This can include practices such as regular meal times, bedtimes, and school schedules.
Seek additional support if needed
If you notice that your child is struggling with their grief, or if their grief seems to be affecting their daily life or mental health, seek additional support from a mental health professional or grief counsellor. They can provide specialised support and guidance for both you and your child.
Remember that every child processes grief differently, and there is no “right” way to grieve. Give your child time and space to work through their emotions and be there to support them every step of the way.
Find Grief Support with Grief Works by Illume
Getting support when grieving is essential. It can be challenging, but you don’t have to worry!
The Grief Works app helps you overcome grief and connect with a community that cares for you. It also offers live monthly calls and the ability to chat with a therapist when needed.
Moreover, it has a built-in journal book for your daily diary and the Grief Works Curriculum to guide you in this wonderful healing journey.