How To Support Your Kids Through The Death Of A Loved One
Death is a natural part of life, but it can also be a challenge to cope with, particularly when faced with the death of a loved one.
Adults often struggle to cope with death, so it’s understandable that children will find it tough to deal with the scary experience of overcoming the death of someone that they knew.
If your children have just encountered death, then you need to be sympathetic and support them through the grieving process. To help, we’ve put together a list of tips to make it easier for you to communicate with your kids and make them feel reassured during this trying time.
Learn About The Grieving Process
Grief and loss can be a long process, with many different stages. The first step towards helping your child through their loss is to understand it and how it is affecting them. Learn about the stages of grief and try to identify them in your child, so that you know how to support them through this tough experience.
Manage Your Own Grief
As a parent, you need to make sure that you manage your own grief and don’t allow it to affect your treatment of your child. If you lash out or become despondent, then your child will pick up on these changes and might feel worse themselves. As such, you shouldn’t neglect your own mental health and set a good example for your child by managing your own grief in a responsible and healthy way.
Work With A Supportive Funeral Director
When you attend the funeral with your child, you want to make sure that they receive personal support and that they are able to ask questions of the funeral director. A great example of this in practice can be seen through Lilies Funeral Directors, who are funeral directors in Sutton Coldfield that provide extra support to families to help them achieve closure. Some of the ways in which they do this include having a private chapel of rest which can be used at any time and providing families with one point of contact who will speak to you throughout the whole journey.
If you visit the chapel with your children, they can ask the dedicated funeral director any questions they have that you may not be able to answer. If you use a professional and supportive service like this, you’ll find that the typical stresses of organising the service will be somewhat eased.
Avoid Lying To Your Children
It’s always tempting to lie and spare your children from the hurt that comes with death, but you should try not to lie to them if possible. Even young children will benefit from being talked to about death, so try to find a way to make them understand the concept that doesn’t involve outright lying. Children need to learn about death eventually, and if you lie to them early on, then they will simply distrust you later.
Explain The Situation In A Way That They Can Understand
Death and the grieving process are complicated concepts, so it’s essential that you talk to your child on their level. Learn to communicate with children of any age, so that you can discuss death and grief in a way that they will understand. Try not to patronise your child, and instead alter your language to suit their age and understanding. If you have several children of different ages, then consider talking to them all separately, so that you can make them all feel supported and help them to understand death.
If They’re Really Struggling Then Seek Help
Some children find death a real challenge, particularly if the person who is gone is someone that they were close to, so if your child displays signs of serious upset, then consider working with a professional. Many child psychologists and therapists specialise in helping children to overcome grief, so you can get them back on track towards a happy future despite this setback.