How to Help Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

By: VGFS
Monday, October 29, 2018

Losing a loved one is never easy. It’s a time filled with sadness, emotional turmoil, and change. For adults and children alike, grieving is an important part of accepting the loss of a loved one, dealing with difficult feelings, and saying goodbye.

Having a caring adult to guide your child through this process can create an opportunity for growth and transformation. Here are five proven strategies to help your child cope with grief and begin the journey toward recovery.

  1. Tell the truth. Hiding information can lead to mistrust, and it may cause your child to be reluctant to turn to you (or other adults) for support. Kids can also get crazy ideas because they tend to make up information to fill in the blanks. Consider your child's age and personality in determining how much information they can accept or process.
  2. Be a good listener. Children's concerns are often different than you might expect. They might worry if the deceased will get hungry underground or wonder who will throw their birthday parties from now on. It’s important to realize that their questions aren't necessarily what your questions are. Whatever they come up with, be compassionate and listen.
  3. Observe their behavior. Kids don't always communicate with words alone; they may also display behavioral symptoms. Common reactions include fighting, denial, mood swings, fear of being alone, regression to early childhood behaviors, physical complaints like stomach aches or headaches, trouble sleeping, or academic issues. Watch for these red flags, as they may indicate the need for increased outreach.
  4. Express your emotions. Children will express their feelings if they see you demonstrating yours. You don't need to hide your sadness; that's not authentic. Consider appropriate and constructive ways to talk about your feelings. For example, you might say, “I feel down today because I'm thinking about my mom and I miss her.”
  5. Maintain a routine. Having regular recreational, social, and academic activities will help your child feel grounded at this difficult time. Your child will be concerned with how his or her life will change, so it's important to reassure him or her that most things will go on as usual. School and extracurricular activities can offer a break from the grief because it brings a sense of normalcy when everything else feels so different. Having set bedtimes, family meals, story times, and cuddling provide stability and organization at a time when grief has caused chaos.

Children take their cues from adults and model their reactions accordingly. Show your child that death and grief are part of life and something we all experience at some point. If you have questions or need additional help for your grieving child, please reach out to us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

A Final Salute: Funeral Arrangements to Honor Veterans

Our military veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our country and deserve to be honored, especially during their funeral services. A military service offers an important way to pay respects...

What to Look for When Choosing a Funeral Home

Funerals are probably the most-neglected major life event we face. While there’s never a good time for it, researching and choosing a funeral home when you don’t need one is the best way to go. Tha...

Here’s Why You Should Plan Your Funeral Now

Talking about death forces us to face our own mortality. That can feel foreboding and it tends to make us uncomfortable. But since death is inevitable for everyone, funeral planning in advance just...

The Physical Effects of Grief & How to Deal with Them

“Grief is love.” – David Kessler If you've recently experienced the passing of a loved one, you're well aware of the impact grief has on your quality of life. There’s simply no way to anticipate...

Cemetery Etiquette: What You Need to Know for Your Next Visit

When visiting the cemetery, there are a number of basic protocols you should follow in order to show respect for both the living and the dead. These cemetery etiquette tips will help to ensure th...

Burial or Cremation: What’s Right for You?

Deciding whether you prefer a cremation or burial is one of life’s most personal choices. There are many influencing factors including cost, religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and family prefe...

How to Choose Meaningful Funeral Readings

Reciting funeral readings that have significance is a special way to remember your departed loved one. It allows you to celebrate the things he or she loved most in life while providing solace to t...

Creative Ideas for a Special Celebration of Life

More and more people are choosing to make funerals uplifting ‘celebrations of life’ rather than somber events. Incorporating unique, personalized touches into the homegoing service can be a fitting...

Three Important Ways to Help a Grieving Family

You can’t take away the heartache for a family who has recently lost a loved one. But there are things you can do to show them you care and to make their lives a bit easier during their time of int...

Ready, Set, Lose Weight

As warmer weather approaches, many of us start fretting about the extra pounds we put on over the winter. Losing weight—and keeping it off for good—is much easier with the proper physical and men...