Coping with grief as a parent can be doubly challenging. With the death of a loved one, when parents often struggle to manage their own grief, supporting a child through the child’s grieving process can seem overwhelming. The article Helping Kids Cope with Grief shares about how to support children with grief, and includes some great advice from several doctorate-level psychologists regarding how children process loss.
And, for the really busy parents, we’ll share a few brief excerpts… though it’s worth reading the whole thing!
“Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Loss and Transition in Fort Collins, CO, says, “Children can only deal with what they know, not what they don’t know.” By trusting your kids to handle the news, you send the message that they can come to you for anything.”
” ‘Kids don’t always communicate just with words. When there’s a wound you can’t see, it comes out in behavioral symptoms. So you have to be a detective and listen and watch,” Dr. Goodman advises. Common reactions include fighting, denial, mood swings, self-blame, fear of being alone, regression to early childhood behaviors, physical complaints like stomach aches or headaches, trouble sleeping, academic issues (both failures and hyper-achievement), or a lack of feelings altogether.”
—As published from Parents.com Article, ‘Helping Kids Cope with Grief,’ Author Corinne Schuman