Children process grief much differently than adults do and it’s important to offer age-appropriate grief support. One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome with grieving children is communication. A child who is still developing communication skills can have a hard time expressing what they’re feeling and tend to just shut down. If this happens to your child after experiencing the loss of a loved one, know that this is normal. Here are three ways you can breakthrough and help your kid through grief.
Get Back to Routine
Returning to your normal routine might seem counterintuitive, but most children do well with a consistent routine. You still need to give them time to morn and process, but jumping back into your regular schedule after a few days can restore a sense of normality for your child.
Creating a fun activity for the kids can be a great distraction from grief. Let them pick a new paint color for their room and have them help you apply a fresh coat. Go get a new board game and have a game night. Set up a TV in the backyard and watch their favorite movie under the stars. Anyway you can take their mind off it for a little while is a win.
Don’t Forget to Talk
Getting back to normal and finding new activities is good, but you still need to make time to talk about what happened. Carve out time to make sure you’re checking on their emotional state. Ask how they’re feeling and if they have any questions about death. It might be a short conversation, or it could be a long talk. Whatever the length, just make sure they’re processing everything in a healthy manner.
If you have concerns about their emotional state or mental health, remember that Cura-HPC offers bereavement counseling to family members for 12 months after a patient passes away. Our bereavement specialists would be happy to talk with you and your children to help guide your family through grief.