As adults and parents we are sometimes at a loss for how to help our children understand a sudden loss of someone they know. The resources below are being shared to help our parents provide support to our children during these times.
Please remember not to forget to give yourself time to grieve and deal with your own feelings as well as trying to provide support to your children.
Grief for children may look different than grief for adults. Sometimes we may see that intense feelings come in sudden and short bursts. Using these times when you child reaches out you could try some of the following:
- express your own grief and confusion and ask your child to share their feelings
- accept that these are your child's feelings but saying things like "I can appreciate your feelings..."
- be prepared for your children to say they don't know how to feel and express understanding of that as well
- explain that rumors are sometimes true and sometimes not true and to be careful about making judgments
- listen if your children are seeking help, ask them who they would seek out for help during this time. Depending on the age, this may be their friends, remind your children to seek out a trusted adult as well.
- questions may remain for awhile
- creating an open forum for discussion on difficult subjects will allow children to see you as a trusted adult
GRIEVING IS A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT.