Losing someone close is not easy for anyone; however, it seems to affect children in the worst possible way. While as adults we are much more capable of finding our feet even after the tragedy, kids can feel completely lost, and fear can overtake their entire existence. As mothers, it is important to provide them with the support system they need at this time and also ensure that the children understand the concept of death and how to deal with it.
Some tips below on helping your child deal with grief:
- Age appropriate explanation of the situation – The first thing you will need to do is explain the concept of death to the child. Remember lying about the death and its inevitability is not going to solve any issues, so do not say things like so and so has gone out for work. The child may become fearful of anyone going out for work by presuming that people don’t come back when they leave for work. Explain to the child what death is and in case the child is very young, bring in some magical element into it like saying that the deceased has become a star etc.
- Mourn the deceased with your kid – While you do not want your child to feel pain and suffer, do understand that mourning is a large part of the recovery and you should not skip it. Allowing the child to cry will all help the child to recover from the loss. Never tell the child to ‘not cry’ or ‘get over it’ since it will only result in the kid clamping up instead of feeling better.
- Getting back to routine – While death can halt all normalcies in the house, eventually one has to get back to a routine. It is important that you help your child to get back to life and start living it on a daily basis. Begin with smaller steps at first. Encourage the child to go back to school, play with friends, and other planned activities. If the child stays indoors and sad all the time you may have a huge problem on your hands. In case you find that your kid is not returning to a normal way of life it will help to consult with a doctor. Make sure that your child does not slip into depression; healing depression will take a large effort.
Children signify life, and death is something that they should not have to deal with. However, if death happens, being there for your child and helping her cope with death will ensure that your baby grows up to be a stronger person and evolves a better human being from the tragedy as opposed to a weaker one.