Losing a loved one can be extremely hard for individuals of any age. Below are a few ways you as parents can support your children through this difficult time
- Understand that children cope with death differently and may have a range of reactions (including emotional shock, regression, acting out and explosive emotions, and questioning) depending on their developmental level
- Answer your child's questions and help them understand what happened with truthful, developmentally appropriate responses
- Allow children to grieve and tell their story, listen and validate their feelings, and show extra love and care
- Understand that grief is a process and allow it to happen as the child needs
- Realize that as children move into new developmental stages, they begin to understand the loss in a new way and may need extra support
- Be aware of your own need to grieve as a parent; adults who get help working through their grief are much more able to help their child through the grieving process
Ask about the RAINBOWS PROGRAM available at St Thomas for your child should they experience loss rooting from separation, divorce, a family member's move, illness or death.