Helping Your Child Handle Grief: Tips for Parents

If your child recently lost a family member or friend, it can be a very difficult time for them. Grief is always hard, but the first time losing a close loved one is especially tough. As a concerned parent, you may be wondering what you can and should do to help your child handle their grief. There are numerous steps you can take to do so. Learn more about some of these steps to take, and then you can know that you are doing all you can to help your child work through their grief. 

Let Your Child Know Their Feelings Are Valid

Children go through a different type of grieving process than adults do. Their feelings can be more varied and seemingly erratic. They can go from being overwhelmed with sadness to running around in seemingly no time. But this is normal for children dealing with a loss. 

What is important through this process is to let your child know that their feelings are valid and acceptable. If they are mad or sad, their feelings matter and are okay. If you treat their feelings as acceptable, your child will be more likely to healthily express their emotions and let them out (rather than stifling them or bottling them in). This can help them work through the grieving process more effectively. It can also help them to trust you as their confidant through the grief process. 

Seek Out Grief Support

Grief support groups are a great way to help your child cope with the loss of a loved one. These groups allow your child to see that there are other people going through similar experiences, and can help your child to develop different tactics and techniques for dealing with grief. 

There are grief support groups specifically for families and children that can be quite beneficial. These groups encourage children to deal with their grief and accept the process of grief, which can really help your child learn and grow through the grief process. 

Sometimes, there are even grief classes or group counseling sessions available through counseling centers that can also be quite beneficial when it comes to grief support. These may be a bit more guided and structured than a standard support group which might be good for your child. 

Knowing these ways to help your child deal with the loss of a loved one and their grief, you can get started helping them right away. 

To learn more, visit a grief support group near you.