the importance of caring for grieving children
i was talking to someone recently who was suffering repressed grief it confirmed to me how important it is to help children understand their grief and be able to open up to all their feelings because it can affect them for the rest of thier lives this person now in his 40s was never allowed to cry or mourn for his mother who had died when he was 7 years old and now he has to face up to the problems it has caused and mourn for his mother to be able to live a normal life and he is thankfully getting the help he needs
THE IMPORTANCE OF CARING FOR GRIEVING CHILDREN
Adults grieve. So do children. As an adult or child, experiencing grief means to "feel," not just to "understand." Anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve. Even before children are able to talk, they grieve when someone loved dies. And these feelings about the death become a part of their lives forever.
Caring adults, whether parents, relatives or friends, can help children during this time. If adults are open, honest and loving, experiencing the loss of someone loved can be a chance for children to learn about both the joy and the pain that comes from caring deeply for other people.
Adults sometimes have trouble facing death themselves. So open, honest discussions about death with children can be difficult. Yet adults who are able to confront, explore and learn from their own personal fears about death can help children when someone loved dies. As a result, children can form " a healthy attitude toward both life and death.
When a death occurs, children need to be surrounded by feelings of warmth, acceptance and understanding. Caring adults can provide this support.
How adults respond when someone loved dies has a major effect on the way children react to the death. Sometimes, adults don't want to talk about the death, assuming that by doing so children will be spared some of the pain and sadness.
However, the reality is very simple: children will grieve, anyway.
Adults who are willing to talk openly about the death help children understand that grief is a natural feeling when someone loved had died. Children need adults to confirm that it's all right to be sad and to cry, and that the hurt they feel now won't last forever.
When ignored, children may suffer more from feeling isolated than from the actual death itself. Worse yet, they feel all alone in their grief.when it's a parent lost the intense worry that they will lose their remaining parent will be immense and consume their thoughts it's vital for the childs wellbeing to understand the childs emotional needs as suppressed grief will surface in the future the longer it festers the problems will be magnified this as a parent may be one of the most important loving lessons in life you guide your child through
adults need to be open, honest loving and Patient they need to answer questions about the death in language children can understand
Adults shouldn't worry about having all the answers. The answers aren't as important as the fact that they're responding to the questions in a way that shows they care.
Children may repeat the same questions about the death again and again. It's natural. Repeating questions and getting answers helps them understand and adjust to the loss of someone loved.
Respond to children with sensitivity and warmth. Be aware of voice tone; maintain eye contact when talking about the death. What is communicated without words can be just as meaningful to children as what is actually said.
Let children know that their feelings will be accepted. Although some of their behavior may seem inappropriate, after all they are going through the same stages of grief as anyone does and that includes anger guilt despair it's natural adults need to understand children during this stressful time, not judge their behavior or criticize.
Adults often wonder if they should share with children their religious beliefs regarding death. This is a complex issue; Keep in mind that adults can only share with children those concepts they truly believe. Any religious explanations about death must also be described in concrete terms; children have difficulty understanding abstractions. The theological correctness of the information is less important at this time than the fact that the adult is communicating in a loving way.
Create an atmosphere that tells children that their thoughts, fears and wishes will be recognized This recognition includes the right to be part of planning the arrangements for the funeral. being involved in the planning helps establish a sense of comfort and the understanding that life goes on even though someone loved has died.give them the opportunity to attend but not forced to go explain the purpose of a funeral is to honour the life of the person who has died celebrate their life and a chance to say goodbye
as a caring adult, the challenge is clear: children do not choose between grieving and not grieving; adults, on the other hand, do have a choice- to help or not to help children cope with grief.
With love and understanding, adults can guide children through this vulnerable time and help make the experience a valuable part of a child's personal growth and development.handle this as well as possible and your child will have the ability of coping better in their lives this experience will give them the gift of compassion to others as they grow into well balanced adults
Be honest. Express your own feelings regarding the death. By doing so, children have a model for expressing their own feelings. It's all right to cry,
Listen to children, don't just talk to them No one procedure or formula will fit all children, either at the time of death or during the months that follow. their grief may be delayed Be patient, flexible and adjust to individual needs.
Love will get you through this dreadful time and amongst the gifts your loved one who has passed to heaven has given you will be an even more close loving family who has clung together supporting one another through the good times and bad cementing your bond of love xx
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