Helping Children Cope With Grief
After a Loss
We all cope with death and grief differently. If you have several children, you may find that they express how they are feeling in surprisingly divergent ways. This can come down to personality as well as developmental age.
It is a fact that children grieve differently from adults. Young children may not even understand what death means, or that people who have died won’t be coming back. They may worry they have done something to cause the death. On the other hand, they might not seem too concerned about it, or even go from crying one moment to wanting to play the next. It is also normal for a child to feel angry at the person who has died (or someone else entirely). As children get older they may begin to understand more, but will still need help from their parents and other caregivers on how to process and cope with loss.
Knowing what to say and how to support children during this time isn’t easy. It is likely that you, too, are grieving and trying to deal with your own emotions. While you can’t protect children from loss and the pain it may cause, you can play a major role in helping them feel secure and cope in the healthiest way possible.