With all of the scary events happening around in our world, our children are being exposed to more and more than ever before. It is frightening for us, and for them. They have questions and concerns and have you to hep them. Whether your child is suffering from a loss within your family or grieving on a larger world wide scale, this is important.
Here is what your children want to know and may not be able to vocalize
10 Things Grieving Children Want You to Know
#1 – I want to be told the truth.
Tell grieving children the truth, keeping in mind the child’s age and maturity level and the circumstances surrounding the death.
#2 – I want to know that there will always be someone to take care of me.
Grieving children spend a lot of time worrying about another person in their life who might die. To help alleviate this fear, it’s important to reassure them that there will always be someone in their life who will take care of them.
#3 –My grief is long lasting.
Children will grieve the person who died for the rest of their life – they don’t “just get over it.” As a result, they will often be bewildered when other people in their life have seemed to move on.
#4 – I often cope with grief and loss through play.
Typically, children cannot sustain prolonged grief, so they use play as a way to cope with and to take a break.
#5 – I will always miss the person who died.
Love doesn’t die – grieving children will miss the person they lost for as long as they live.
#6 – I probably want to share my story and talk about the person who died.
Telling their story often helps a child heal. Grieving children don’t want to forget the person who died. They also worry that others will forget their person, so it’s important to share memories about the person who died.
#7 – I might grieve differently from other kids.
Some children might be more expressive with their grief; some might keep it all in. Even siblings grieve differently, and it is important to honor each child’s story, even if it differs from their sibling’s.
#8 – I probably feel guilty.
Grieving children will often feel pangs of guilt, even if it is not justified and has no basis in reality.
#9 – If I’m acting out, I’m probably feeling intense emotions of grief.
Grieving children frequently feel sad, angry, confused, or scared. Because they might not know how to express these emotions, they often end up acting out instead.
#10 – If you’re not sure what I want or what I’m feeling, just ask me!
When in doubt, ask a grieving child how you can help. They want to talk about the person who died, or maybe not. They may want to write about their grief or do some other activity to express their feelings.