Helping Children Cope With Grief
Is It Okay to Give Alone Time?
This depends somewhat on the particular child and on the child’s age. Little kids go in and out of grieving mode so it is okay to let them play alone in a room as long as you stay nearby in case they switch back into grieving. Keep play dates shorter and at your home for a while so that you can monitor them.
For teens, alone time after delivering the news is certainly appropriate if they want it. And with both teens and younger kids you always want to ask open-ended questions like, “What do you think?” or, “How are you feeling?” Tell them you know this will take time to process and let them know they can always come back to you with questions or just to talk about the loved one who has died.