Losing a loved one is the most challenging part of life, especially when children are involved. Grief requires time, patience, and compassion. But how do you help a child cope with the loss of someone they deeply loved? Every parent naturally wants to guard their children from difficult emotions, but learning to handle death is vital to life. You can start helping your child cope after a loved one passes away here.
The first thing to do is be honest—it’s the best policy. Be upfront and clear that the person they loved is no longer with us and won’t return, but be gentle. Telling a child their loved one is sleeping or in a better place creates confusion and fear. Also, a child could act out if a parent uses a phrase like they are sleeping. Honesty is so important for children, especially as their brains develop the concept of dying. This concept is difficult to approach, but explaining honestly is the best way to help everyone face reality.
Children already have trouble regulating emotions; berating or neglecting their process hurts them more because they don’t understand their feelings. As a parent, providing emotional support to your child is crucial to helping them cope. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and be attentive to their emotions. Listen and validate their experiences without judgment. You might also encourage your child to express themselves through different activities. Sometimes, building something, like memories of a loved one, can be helpful.
After the loss of a loved one, everything that was once familiar to your child can quickly become uprooted. Maintaining routines like bedtimes, mealtimes, and other daily activities can provide security and normalcy. Keeping a routine helps kids stay grounded among all the changes in their lives. It also assures your child that life continues despite losing a loved one.
One of the helpful ways to help children get through grief is establishing new traditions in honor of their loved ones. Activities like visiting their grave, lighting candles, or eating a special meal in their honor are excellent opportunities to reflect on memories together and create an atmosphere of remembrance.
Sometimes, as a parent, you might feel lost or unprepared to help your child cope. Feeling lost in helping your child cope after a loved one passes away is normal because you don’t know where to begin. At this point, seeking support could help. You also give yourself and your child the opportunity to not grieve alone. You and your child have access to many resources, including grief counselors, support groups, and religious organizations. Seeking professional help for grieving parties can help when learning to cope.
Children have a challenging time understanding grief, but navigating it with love, patience, and support, can streamline the journey. Honor You provides personalized casket photos that serve as a meaningful tribute, keeping their spirit close to your heart. We’re here to support you and your children in remembering your loved one. Reach out for personalization services for your loved one’s funeral.