Adults may find it challenging to support grieving children, but there are some straightforward things you can do. Grief may start in children at a very young age. For instance, the death of a parent may have an effect on even very young newborns. Children can feel grief for a variety of reasons, even though losing a close relative or friend is one of the worst things they can go through.
Children can grieve for many reasons
- the passing of a loved one, friend, or animal
- Their parents’ divorce or separation and the dissolution of their family
- Changing schools or relocating
- loosing a friend.
- relocating to a new township, state, or nation
- experiencing a medical condition or impairment
- having a loved one stay a lengthy period in the hospital
- Children’s feelings following a loss might differ. They may act unhappy or not look disturbed at all depending on the situation. To shield a caregiver who is mourning, they could also make an effort to conceal their emotions. The way that children respond to loss also depends on their age, developmental stage, and personality.
Children’s reaction to grief
- sorrow that varies. For instance, children often weep in spurts because they have short attention spans. Then they may be pleased or play the following minute.
- Thinking that the loss (such as a death, a broken family, or disease) may be reversed or that it just affects other people.
- posing uncomfortable issues about death and dying while coming across as really frank about it.
- become agitated, withdrawn, or exhibit insecurity.
- having nightmares or having trouble falling asleep.
- Feel guilty for the loss (death, family dissolution, etc.).
- exhibit regressive behaviors or act younger than they are, such as bedwetting, baby-like speech, or clingy behaviors.
- physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or stomachaches.
- acting out emotions as opposed to talking about them.
Helping children with grief:
- Tell them its okay to be unhappy.
- Instead than assuring them that everything will be well or encouraging them to strive to be cheerful, attempt to ‘sit by their side’ with them as they grieve by practicing reflective listening. The phrase “You miss Grandpa so much you don’t know if you can ever be happy again” is an example.
- Be willing to discuss the same topics with them repeatedly. It takes time for children to comprehend information.
- Be sure to explain things simply and briefly. Unless they want more, only the necessary amount of information for their age.
- Attempt to keep as many ‘normal’ parts of life and routines as you can.
- Give them the chance to express their sorrow via art (drawing or painting), storytelling, or crafts (such creating a memory).
How Art and Play Therapy can help
Children naturally communicate through play. Children who are in play therapy can use play to express the various conflicting feelings that might result from loss, including grief, rage, uncertainty, and fear.
Loss-related emotions may be highly frightening for kids to experience and discuss. Through symbolic play, such as making a toy dog unhappy, children may emotionally separate themselves from the loss with the help of play therapy. Children may manage their emotions in this way without directly addressing the loss, protecting them from being emotionally drained.
Play offers kids a secure environment where they may explore and express their most vulnerable feelings. Play therapy prevents children from being negatively influenced by pushing them to face problems they are not mentally prepared to face by allowing them to process their feelings of loss at their own pace and in their own special way.
If you are looking for a “Psychologist near Me “you can consult an online counseling platform like TalktoAngel. They have highly qualified Child Psychologist having experience in child therapies and counseling like play therapy and art therapy that help the child to overcome grief and help in the overall development of the child.
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