When an unfortunate circumstance comes into the life of a child, perhaps from the loss of a loved one, or a beloved pet for example, children react differently than adults. Many times the children will not display their grief in what we would consider the normal way, but will act out in other ways, such as becoming more withdrawn or even the opposite of continually trying to gain the attention of adults but perhaps in not the most acceptable ways.
All too often when it comes to the loss of a loved one, adults many times can become so consumed with their own grief, that they don’t realize the impact on the kids. Many times it is assumed they are too young to understand, and parents or other adults will simply offer the suggestion that the deceased has moved on to a better place, and leave it at that.
Ideally,if an adult that the child loves and respects can take the time to sit down and answer the questions that the child may have, it often helps them come to the realization and further understanding of what has taken place. The child then does not feel quite so lost, although of course still feels the pain from the passing of the one they care about.
Talking about it also allows them to be able to express their fears and concerns, as many times when children are dealing with grief they have mixed emotions of fear and misunderstandings. Often, just by being able to talk out their feelings, they can often rationalize what they are going through as children approach grief in different ways according to their age.
Many times adults will think that a youngster that is around the age of five does not have a true understanding of what loss is about, but they do form their own opinions and it is important that the adults understand what conclusions the child has come to. This is important to ensure that their conclusions are not misconstrued which could later turn out to be something traumatizing in later years, because of this type of experience.
Just observing a child around this unfortunate time will often give strong indicators as to how the child is dealing with the circumstances. In any event it is most important that children be observed closely, not only during the time that the event has occurred, but for several weeks or even months afterward.
Of course the initial attachment that the child had to the person that has passed away, or even a pet for that matter, will determine the amount of grief that the child may experience. However, some children which are more sensitive than others will feel more of a sense of loss towards an individual that they may not have been initially as close too.
If talking it through with the kids doesn’t seem to be easing their grief then contacting a grief counselor would probably be most beneficial. These individuals are highly trained in helping to bring a youngster to the various levels of dealing with grief.
This post was written by Lior who works for a company called Milk Nursingwear which sells nursing nightgowns, underwire nursing bras and many more nursingwear products.
Photo courtesy of www.specialweb.com