Losing a loved one is never easy for anyone. However, it can be even harder for a child to cope with, especially if it’s the first time that they’ve ever encountered life’s worst moment. While dealing with your own emotions is hard enough, being there for your child is paramount. Here’s how to help a grieving child and provide comfort throughout this difficult moment.
How to Help Children Cope with a Death in the Family
Explain, listen, and comfort
There is no easy way to break the news to your child. The best thing you can do is use clear words, take your time, and use a comforting voice. Let your child digest the information, and be there to provide the hug that they will inevitably need.
In the likely situation that it is a grandparent that wasn’t well, you can explain that they are in a more comfortable place now. Similarly, you should reassure them that the departed will always love them and that you’ll never forget the departed family member either.
Kids can react in many different ways. They may cry, ask questions, or go silent. After the initial shock, getting your child to express their feelings and say what’s on their mind is key. Only then can you respond in the most appropriate fashion.
Prepare your child for the funeral day
Saying your final goodbyes is the toughest thing you’ll ever have to do. However, getting the funeral preparations underway at the earliest stage possible is vital. Not only does it help you stay organized, but it can be very useful as you aim to prepare the children for this difficult day.
Depending on your child’s age, you may want to think about getting them to draw a picture or write something about the departed family member. While this isn’t essential, it can be a useful way for your son or daughter to process the tragic news and come to terms with what it means.
Of course, not all parents want young children to attend the event as it can be a harrowing experience. Likewise, you may find that you’d prefer your son or daughter to remember the dearly departed at their best. Either way, you have to do what is right for you.
Give your child time to adjust
During the process of breaking the news, you’ll have explained how the loss will directly impact their life. Nonetheless, even with those mental preparations, it can take months for your child to truly get used to life without the family member.
While it’s good to talk, you should try to keep those conversations restricted to a few minutes before trying to move onto another task. Keeping your child occupied to show that life goes on is crucial. Finding the balance between remembering the person and still enjoying life will help your child greatly.
In some cases, it may be necessary to speak to family grief counselors too. However, most kids find that – like adults – things do get a little easier over time. While you’ll never forget your loved one, getting through the grieving process is vital.
Let Us Help You in Your Time of Need
We understand that losing a loved one can be extremely stressful. Our family here at Casa de Paz will do everything we can to make sure this transition goes as smooth as possible. We have many affordable funeral service packages for you to choose from. For more information on how we can serve you, contact us today.