The death of a friend or family member of a child is never easy, especially for children who have never experienced death and do not understand it. Children need a lot of support, especially in times of grief. Here are a few tips on helping children cope with the death of a loved one:
Listen to Children’s Needs
Children need to be able to express themselves and talk about how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. Be an attentive listener, and do not judge them.
Do Not Lie
This includes half-truths as well. Children are often sensitive and smart and can pick up on falsities. This may lead them to believe that you did not trust them enough to tell the truth. Telling lies, even if they’re good-intentioned lies, will not help a child through the healing process or help them prepare for future loss.
Help Children to Understand Death
Give children information about death and grief at a level they can comprehend, and let them guide you by listening to and answering their questions. Encourage them to ask questions and ask for clarifications.
Remember That Mourning Takes Time
Do not hold grieving children to unrealistic expectations. Make sure they know that you really want to hear about how they feel and be patient and nurturing. Just as with adults, there is no “right” way to grieve; every individual mourns differently, regardless of age.
Be Aware of Your Own Grief
Make sure you address your own needs—caring for others is important during a time of loss, but do not neglect to also focus on healing yourself.
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory in Tacoma offers supportive, dedicated funeral care at our beautiful facility. Give us a call at (888) 757-3958 for more information on pre-planning services or arranging services for your recently deceased loved one.