In families grief is unique and individual to every person. As we choose to be empathetic, understanding and patient with each other we can help the healing process and grow closer together in the midst of tragedy. Young children may need help understanding the concept of death. They also may struggle retaining memories of their lost loved one. Because of their immature verbal skills they may have difficulty expressing emotions and understanding their own feelings. Grief is often displayed in behavior, outbursts, insecurities.
Talking about Grief & Loss
5 Parenting Tips for Widows
In an interview with Karen Millsap from Widows at Work, Veronica Clarke shares what she’s learned about parenting her 4 children as a widow. She admittedly didn’t do everything “right” but that’s what’s so great about her story. She was able to learn WITH her children and in this video she shares the most important lessons.
From the Editors Desk
The age and developmental stage of the child is one of the factors that determines how a child deals with grief. Knowing and understanding these phases can help parents identify grieving patterns in their children, remain patient and hopeful in the process, and provide the best care for their grieving...
Because of their physical, emotional, mental and social immaturity, children do not react to loss in the same ways as adults. Ways that children’s grief is different from adults: The NCI’s PDQ cancer information summary about Grief, Bereavement, and Coping with Loss listed the following: Children may seem to show grief...
From Our Experience
Factors Affecting How a Child Copes with Loss
Although grief is different for each child, several factors can affect the grief process of a child:
- The child’s age and stage of development.
- The child’s personality.
- The child’s previous experiences with death.
- The child’s relationship with the deceased.
- The cause of death.
- The way the child acts and communicates within the family.
- How stable the family life is after the loss.
- How the child continues to be cared for.
- Whether the child is given the chance to share and express feelings and memories.
- How the parents cope with stress.
- Whether the child has ongoing relationships with other adults.
Children at different stages of development have different understandings of death and the events near death. See the post Stage of Development and Grief for more information. – from National Cancer Institute: PDQ® Grief, Bereavement, and Coping With Loss.
Effective parenting means taking the time to listen and to understand the hearts of our children so that we can grow together in faith, friendship, and love. Even as we ourselves are hurting, focusing on grieving children will in the long run lead to more rapid healing for the entire family. Maintaining a secure environment at home where children feel loved is critical in helping them move through grief.
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