Children Grieve in Many Ways

by MSO

Children need a lot of attention when a family member dies.

In most children, their basic feeling with the death of a family member is fear.

They don’t understand what happened. They wonder who will die next. They don’t know how they will live without the dead person. If it’s a parent they are concerned about who will take care of them. And, most strongly, they fear that they will die too.

We can’t prevent children feeling fear in a death situation and they have to get over their fears for themselves. Children may have recurring nightmares, they may regress and act younger, they may freeze and show little or no emotion or they may even become over-achievers in hope that this will help them get over their feeling of fear.

Parents and other care givers have to ensure that children receive plenty of attention and nurturing. Talk freely and be straight forward with children. Don’t use euphemisms like ‘passed on’, ‘in a better place’ it’s better to use the word ‘death’ itself. In time children will once again feel secure in the basic dependability of life.

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