Losing a loved one is hard enough for an adult, but when a child loses someone important to them at a very young age grief can show different signs. Not addressing the issue head on can leave a child feeling lost and traumatized. Although talking openly about death is hard for many adults it is a step that needs to be taken when a child is directly affected by the passing. Coping with the loss as a close and caring unit helps the grieving process and children learn from the experience.
For those struggling with grief but also need to be strong for the children in their life, here are some tips you can use to help a grieving child.
Tip 1: Be Honest
Do not belittle the death of a loved one as them "sleeping". Although it seems a little macabre at first, being honest about the situation to a young child will help them process the death of a loved one. Keeping the death from their innocent minds can cause confusion and raise a lot of questions. It is best to be honest to allow the child to grieve the loss.
Tip 2: Allow Children To Express Their Feelings
A child grieves differently from adults. Some children may not even have the capability to process the death of a loved. For those who do, allow them to share and express their feelings. Bottling up or sweeping grief under the rug is never the answer. Allow them to cry or to feel angry about the situation. Everyone deals with loss differently, including children.
Tip 3: Encourage Mementos
memorial lanterns or any kind of mementos that a child can keep as a remembrance is a good coping mechanism. They might not have as many memories about the dearly departed and what little but great memories can be kept alive for years to come with a keepsake by their side. A child may not be as aware of what is happening at first, memorial lanterns and other remembrances allow them to process the loss at their own pace.
Tip 4: Allow Questions
The curious mind of a child is full of questions and when they lose someone they love they will naturally ask questions. Address these questions and speak to the child instead of shooing them away. Questions are their way of understanding the situation and this way they can begin to learn about death, loss, and mourning instead of feeling confused and lost.
Tip 5: Ensure Closure
Let a child say their last goodbyes to the dearly departed to allow proper closure. Whether it is a personal goodbye or through a letter let your child say their goodbyes. This is a great tip for adults as well as it provides a sense of relief that a final goodbye was said.
Light a memorial lantern, write a letter, or just speak honestly to a child. Their minds might not yet be fully developed by they deserve the truth and a chance at closure. Provide warmth, comfort, and understanding while they grieve to ensure they are not traumatized by the passing of a loved one.
How do you help a grieving child? Remember Me Gifts' sympathy gifts such as memorial lanterns, wind chimes, and more to help you help a young soul understand what happened and what the future holds.