How to Help Your Child Grieve

Talk With the Kids

Kids may not always be eloquent, but they have a voice. Sometimes they use words, sometimes they don’t. But they are always saying something. As we learn about them and their feelings we must use that information to teach.

“I don’t want Mom to be in heaven,” said my 4-year old.

“I don’t either,” said our pastor in an extraordinary moment of compassion.

He agreed with my son, and then talked him about what it means to have faith. God has a plan for all of us and, though we may not understand it, or even agree with it, we trust that His plan is right.

Use age-appropriate words. More often than not, kids respond well to information that is truthful, but on their level. Lead them with questions. (For example, “If I was a kid your age, I might be wondering about why God let Mom die. Are you thinking about those things?”) For kids, saying difficult things out loud can be a great icebreaker that can lead to healthy grieving and healing.

Related Topics: Grief, Children
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