Coping Strategies for Grieving Children & Parents
I wanted to post some suggestions for those of you who are stuggling.. with your loss. I have posted information that was given to me by my Grief Counsellor 4 years ago. I hung onto it to remind me of where I was then and where I am now in the cycle... It helped me when I was dealing with the raw throws of grief my children were in ....following the death of their mother in an MVA in 2008.
This is the basics to get you started.... it will atleast give you a guideline to remember when dealing with your childrens grief and your own after a loss of a loved one.
Parents with young children dealing with the loss of a loved one face a particularly difficult challenge working through their own grief while simultaneously trying to help their children deal with death and loss.
No one is prepared to help their children grieve. Tools and conversation-starters have great value in guiding families toward healthy coping strategies. The tips that follow are meant to help you help your child and yourself:
Explain what “grieving” is to your child... that all of the different feelings in their heart, head, and body are parts of grieving and that they are normal and part of the process; (without such understanding many children feel confused by their emotions and fears.)
Let your child know that they might have many different thoughts and feelings and that they are all OK.
It’s OK for them to see you sad, happy, angry, lonely, etc.. And, it’s OK for you to feel the range of emotions you will feel.
Explain to them that talking about feelings, asking questions, and remembering the person who died can help them feel better. Let them know that they can talk to you.
You need to be willing to hear and discuss their feelings and allow them to talk about the person who died.
Recalling memories might have great value to one child while others might not be ready to talk about the person. Be conscience of their prompts.
If they do want to talk about the person who died, let them know that it’s ok to talk about and remember good things and not-so-good things.
They might ask you to tell them stories of family activities or remind them about the person.
If prompted by a child to recall the person, consider creating a memory-book with photos and memories.
Go at their pace in addressing questions, but once they ask you, be willing and prepared to answer them honestly and directly.
Some children will ask about how or why someone died, the rituals around the funeral, where the person went, what else will change in their lives, etc...
Questions express fears, uncertainty, and concerns so answering them will help comfort your child.
Also tell them it’s ok to talk to other adults or friends. Expanding their support circle is a gift in general, but is particularly valuable when children see their parent’s grief and might want to avoid upsetting them and therefore delay or avoid their own healing process.
Talk to them about ways you try to feel better when you are feeling sad. Let them know that they can come up with ideas for themselves, as well. This will empower them to feel in some ‘control’ and learn skills that might help them in other life challenges.
(Some suggestions include thinking about some of the things you did that made the person proud of you and then doing those things; thinking about other people who love you; doing something nice for someone else when you are feeling sad; or making a special memory box.)
Take care of yourself – talk to friends, family, or a professional; think of things that make you feel better; keep a journal and spend time with your children doing things that make you and them happy.
I wish you Peace
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.
I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...
Last edited by cal821 : April 18th, 2012 at 17:02.
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