Categorized | Parenting, Parenting Tips

Grieving In Children – How Parents Can Help

Moving to a new home, death of a loved one or a family pet, a sick friend – all of these make people sad. However, grief is an issue that is very sensitive to children especially since they are still too young to understand what is going on. Here are some tips on how parents can deal with grieving in children.

Talk About It

It is important that you teach your toddler that death is a part of life. Shielding your toddler from unpleasantness can cause him to feel distrust. Always tell the truth even if it hurts. Be honest and communicate with your toddler in a clear and simple manner. Get down on your child’s level, hold his hands and say “I need to tell you something baby. Grandpa has died. We will not be able to see him anymore.” and then give your toddler a tight hug. This way, your toddler will be able to accept and face the issue better.

Let Your Toddler Express His Feelings

Encourage your toddler to articulate his emotions. Sit him on your lap and listen to what he has to say so he can get his grief out. If your toddler is depressed or scared because you will be transferring to a new city, listen to his concerns, empathize with your little one and assure him that everything will be fine and that he can always visit his friends every month.

Express Your Own Emotions

Do not be frightened to show emotions. Never hide it from your toddler. If you want to cry, then cry. Explain your feelings to your toddler. Showing your toddler you are grieving makes him understand that it is completely okay to be sad in a disheartening situation.

Hold A Ceremony

Ask your toddler if he wants to go to the memorial service. Light a candle. Plant a tree. Gather mementos. Write a letter. These are ways your toddler can partake in bidding goodbye to a loved one. Doing this will help your little one integrate loss into his life.

Keep A Routine

Maintain a routine to help keep your toddler secure. Losing someone can cause changes in one’s life which scares toddlers, hence, it is very essential that you reassure your toddler that things will go on as normal. Have a fixed mealtime, nighttime routine and bedtime. Enroll him in a class or plan a daytrip every weekend so you can take a break from the grief and give your life stability once again.

Relive The Memories

Forgetting a loved one is not the solution to overcome grief. If you or your toddler wants to talk about the loved one who died, do it. Relish the memories by sharing stories of pleasant and funny incidents. Look through photo albums. Offer a prayer. Listen to songs that remind you of the person. Visit the cemetery. Gather family and friends during the loved one’s death anniversary. This is all part of the healing process.

There is no easy way to help your toddler deal with grief. But as long as you are there to support and guide him, your toddler will be fine.

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