Losing a loved one can be very painful to anyone especially in the case of a child. Though it seems that they are not yet fully matured, it is just common for them to feel depressed. They will surely require help from their family and friends in order to overcome the situation. Grieving can be very difficult for the young ones so you really have to help them understand the situation to stop them from doing unlawful things. This is the time wherein they badly needed guidance from their loved ones.
It can be very confusing and troublesome for a child to suffer pain because of the loss of a loved one. Though they are aware of death, the feeling that they have to go through is somewhat unbearable. You can never protect the child from experiencing such pain because death is known to be inevitable but you can help your child accept the loss. You need to encourage your child to express what he feels instead of keeping it by himself. This will only complicate things and can even cause a child to commit suicide.
How Child Grief?
Crying is one of the common things that people do whenever they suffer from emotional problems such as the loss of a loved one. It can be quite different for a child to show such pain because you can see them crying and then later on playing with their friends. But even if you see them laugh and smile, the pain of losing a loved one will still be there every time they remember it. Children often regress, cry at night, or change with their behavior.
How to Help A Child Release the Grief?
It will always be a good thing for anyone to express what they feel instead of keeping it. The pain will become worst and can even lead to health issues. There are a lot of ways on how you can be able to encourage a child to release grief like telling them stories about death and how they can cope with it or spend time playing with the child. Playing can be considered a temporary escape for children who are suffering from grief.
You have to start a conversation with the child so that they can comfortably tell what they feel. You don’t have to push them to let their feelings out instead you have to let them do it willingly. For children who can hardly express their feelings through speaking, you can ask them to draw pictures or make a scrapbook.
It may be hard for you to identify how a child will react after the loss of a loved one. Instead of telling them too much information, it is advisable that you only answer their questions. Some kids think that death is just temporary. When answering their questions, you have to be very honest and as much as possible, use appropriate words that they can easily understand without hurting their feelings. Instead of telling them that the departed is only sleeping, it is best that you tell them the truth than giving them hope that their loved one will soon wake up.
It can be helpful if you will let the child attend the funeral. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you have to force the child to attend because some are afraid to do so. On the other hand, letting them attend the funeral service might serve as a closure. You have to prepare the child on the things that he might see such as the casket and people crying.
There is a possibility for you to notice behavioral changes of the child after the loss. If you know that you can still do something to make it right then you can do so, however, if you feel that the problem is only getting worse as days pass by, then try to seek professional help. They can do the needed actions to help your child accept what had happened.
Stages of Grief
Grief consists of different stages. The process is something that you cannot control however you can do something to alleviate the situation. Doctors stated that grief consists of five stages.
- Denial – At first, losing a loved one is definitely something that you can hardly believe. You might even think that it is just a dream because you are still in a state of shock. This is because of the overwhelming emotions that you feel which lead you to deny the situation and consider it as a defense mechanism.
- Anger – Because of the pain you feel, it is just natural for you to get angry. No one would ever want to lose a loved one which is why the pain you feel pushes you to get mad easily.
- Bargaining – This stage involves the thought of what you could have done to avoid the loss. You might be blaming yourself about what had happened that eventually puts you down.
- Depression – With the sadness you feel, it is no surprised for you to suffer from depression. This can be an alarming stage because it will not only affect your mental aspect but it can also affect your emotional, physical, and even spiritual condition.
- Acceptance – Death is something that you cannot control which means the only thing that you can do is to accept the loss. Acceptance is the key for you to move forward and continue in living your life.