When a family member or friend dies, children are often left feeling confused and vulnerable. While it can be difficult to help them as you try to work through your own grief, it is impotant that you are there for them.
The following tips will help you understand what kind of help they need:
Be honest with them
Encourage your little one to talk to you about how they are feeling and try to answer their questions as truthfully as possible. Their age is important when you are trying to explain death. Under sixes view the world very literally so it is important that you explain death to them in basic terms.
Allow them to grieve
Whether you take your youngster to the funeral is up to you but it is important to give them a choice of whether they want to go or not. Explain to them what happens at a funeral and warn them that many people may be crying.
Ask for help
If you find your grief is too overwhelming for you to be able to help your child you should try to get a family member or friends to care for them.
Let them see you grieve
Allowing your kid see that crying is a natural reaction to death will help them to feel more comfortable. Don’t try to hide them from your own grief but reassure them that you won’t be going anywhere.
Give them space
Give your child the space they need to grieve in their own way. If they become angry, don’t take it personally everyone handles death in their own way. However, if their behaviour changes drastically you need to sit down with them and discuss it.
Talk to your little one’s GP or their teacher if you find they are struggling particularly bad with the loss. Remember, while you can’t prevent them from feeling sad, you can help them work through it.