4 Effective Ways to Help Your Child Grieve After the Loss of a Loved One

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Cremation Service

Grieving the loss of a loved one or friend is challenging for adults. For children? They don’t have the processing skills that adults have, so losing someone – especially if unexpected – can be even more traumatic.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should shield your child from the unfortunate news. Here’s how to help your child when someone they know or love dies.

1. Do you want to attend the funeral service?

Talk to your child after the news and explain to them, in simple terms, what happens next. Your child, especially if they are young, might be unable to handle the emotions of a funeral. That’s OK – don’t force it. There are other ways to celebrate that person’s life with your child.

2. Talk to them, make sure they understand what’s going on

Don’t assume your child understands the concept of death or that the person they lost will not be coming back. This can be crushing news for a child to hear, especially young ones. Use simple, gentle words. Let them talk and ask questions. Listen to what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. And, of course, you shouldn’t go into details, but make sure they don’t feel like they caused the loss.

3. How to react to their reactions

Your child’s reaction depends on age and other factors, but there’s no way to predict how they will take the news. They may cry, or they may seem unaffected by the information. Your child could react angrily to the death. All reactions, as long as they are safe, are OK, as everyone grieves uniquely. That’s why keeping the line of communication open is vitally important. Once they get older, they’ll have better processing skills. For now, be there for them and let them know it’s OK to be sad or upset.

4. What should you tell your child?

An adult (mom or dad) close to the child should be the one to break the news – and it’s OK if the person delivering the information is sad or crying. However, make sure that the person giving the news isn’t overwhelmed when discussing what happened, as this can cause an upsetting situation to be even scarier for a child. If you cannot reasonably compose yourself during this conversation, ask the next closest person to this child to deliver the news.

If you’re in Contra Costa County, consider connecting with a local funeral service company in San Pablo or the surrounding area to see if they have resources for parents whose child is dealing with grief.

As a parent, you want to shield your child from anything that may harm them. However, you can’t protect your child from the pain and sadness they may feel over losing a loved one or friend. What’s within your control is how you help them cope with the news.

Looking for funeral service company in San Pablo, St. Joseph Cemetery and Funeral Center provides funeral pre-planning and long term care planning service in San Pablo.

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