A Guide On How To Help Your Child Deal With Grief And Death

As our kids start growing up, we have a responsibility of teaching them about life and challenges, about feelings and emotions. But, sometimes, we keep wondering how these pure, little souls will be able to face the tough challenges of life, understand and deal with different emotions at this tender age. But, then again, we as parents should start these teachings in the right way at home, rather than they getting to know from somewhere else in a wrong way.

Teaching your child about happiness, fun, excitement is easy. The difficult part is to teach them about death, sorrow, pain and moving on. These are the things, which even adults are not able to deal in their lives and which leaves us stressed. So, how to make your little one understand or how to tell them about a death in the family or how to pacify them when they lose a loved one?

Well, some of these pointers might be of some use:

Do Not Hide:

Whenever, there is any demise in the family or someone close to your kids, have passed away, do not hide the fact from them. The more you hide, the more you have to cover up with lies. And, things can get worse if they get to know from someone else. So, talk to them clearly after the incident and tell them what really happened.

Use Simple Language:

How you tell them about the news is the most important thing. Do not use tough language or terms. Rather, explain to them in simple language, rather in their own language, Kids interpret the world in a very different way than adults. For example, for younger kids you can say, they went away as their body stopped working or the doctors could not fix her problem, so grandma’s heart stopped and she went away. For older kids, you can explain them like grandma will no longer live with us or we can no longer visit grandma as she has passed away, this is really sad, but she will be happy if we move on and so on. Choose your words carefully, to help them take the trauma positively.

Express Your Emotions:

While, you are explaining things to them, do not pretend to hide your own emotions. They will do whatever they see adults doing. So, if you are sad, express it in a subtle way in front of them, so that they understand the difference between happiness and sorrow.

Let Them Express:

After you have explained your point, wait for their reaction. Hear them out. Let their emotions flow and be there to console them. They need a shoulder to cry on and it better be yours. They will be able to open up to you with their feelings and bring out whatever is there in their heart. This is very crucial to allow the pain to ease out.

Watch Their Behaviour:

Keep a watch on their behaviour for some time. Sometimes, it happens that kids relate bad things to themselves and start blaming themselves. So, stay close to them and see if this has left any bad impact on them. If required, consult an expert to bring them out of any drastic trauma or pain.

It is not easy to deal with the tragic moments of our lives, yet we need to let go and move on. We also need to teach our kids the same things and not let the thought linger too long in their minds. In case, you feel that you are not able to help your child deal with such things, do not hesitate to seek counselling or expert help. The sooner, they are able to understand and accept grief, the better it is for their development and progress.