5 Tips To Help A Child Deal With Grief

Death is a difficult concept to explain to a child. The idea of a loved one being there one day and gone -- forever -- the next is not an easy thing to grasp. Death is a topic that adults often avoid because it can make them uncomfortable and sad. Therefore, when a child encounters death for the first time, he or she likely doesn't have a framework to understand it. Read on for some tips on how to help your child deal with death.

1. Use simple, proper words

Often, people use phrases like, "passed away" or "went to sleep" when talking about death. When discussing death with a child, it's better to use the word "dead" and explain that it simply means someone's heart stopped, and he or she is no longer living. If you choose to use euphemisms instead, imagine your child's terror when you tell him or her it's time to go to sleep when the last person they saw who "went to sleep" was buried underground. If your family follows a certain faith, explain your family's beliefs to your child. It might bring both of you comfort.

2. Prepare your child for what's to come

If you choose to bring your child to the mortuary for the funeral, explain what he or she will experience. Explain what the mortuary looks like, who will be there and what type of behavior you expect from your child and what behavior you anticipate from others. If there will be an open casket at the funeral, think carefully about how that will affect your child. If you think your child will find that scary, consider asking another adult to take your child out of the room while you pay your respects. 

3. Involve your child

Give your child a way to express his or her grief. Perhaps your child can draw a picture or make a card to be buried with your loved one. Your child also could choose favorite photos to be displayed at the mortuary.  

4. Answer questions

Your child will likely have a lot of questions, and many of them will be difficult for you to answer. Do your best to answer all of your child's questions in a clear and age-appropriate way. If you avoid your child's questions, in your child's mind, death can become a thing so scary that even Mom or Dad won't talk about it.

5. Allow your child to grieve

Treat your child's inappropriate or unusual behavior gently. Remember that sadness and confusion can look like disobedience. A child who is confused by grieving adults and a change in routine might react by acting out. Be sensitive rather than punitive. 

About Me

Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


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