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Ten Ways to Help a Grieving Child

Ten Ways to Help a Grieving Child

Categories: children's grief, grief and loss, hospice and end of life care

Children usually do not tell you they are grieving through their words.  Although no two children grieve in exactly the same way, these tips can help you support a child who has experienced the death of someone they love.

  1.  Be a good listener. Encourage your child to share their thoughts and feelings.
  2. Be patient and available. Don’t expect children’s reactions to be obvious and immediate.
  3. Provide security, reassurrance and tenderness. Use simple and direct language when describing death to a child.
  4. Be honest, and don’t be afraid to express your own feelings.
  5. Allow children to express a full range of feelings. Anger, guilt, protest and despair are all common.
  6. Be flexible and adjust to individual needs.
  7. Allow children to participate in the funeral, if they want to. Let them know what to expect.
  8. Allow time for play.
  9. Understand that it may be difficult to concentrate, but keep on task. This is a normal reaction to grief.
  10. Do not alter the role of the child.

Learn more about services available to grieving children

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