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Helping Children Cope with Grief by Mimi Rothschild, Grief Educator and Program Developer

Losing a loved one is a challenging experience for anyone, including children. As a caregiver or adult, it's important to provide support and help children cope with the process of grieving. Here are some suggestions to assist children in coping with death:

  1. Be honest and age-appropriate: Use simple and clear language to explain death to children, taking into account their age and level of understanding. Avoid using euphemisms or confusing language, as it can lead to further confusion or misunderstandings.

  2. Create a safe space for expression: Encourage children to express their feelings and emotions openly. Provide a safe environment where they can talk, cry, or ask questions. Let them know that it is normal to feel sad, angry, or confused.

  3. Answer questions patiently: Children may have many questions about death. Be patient and answer their questions truthfully. If you don't know the answer, it's okay to say so. Offer reassurance and comfort while addressing their concerns.

  4. Maintain routines and stability: Children find comfort in routines, so try to maintain their regular schedules as much as possible. Consistency in their daily lives can provide a sense of stability during a time of upheaval.

  5. Share memories: Encourage children to share memories of the person who passed away. Talk about the positive experiences and the impact the person had on their lives. It can help them remember the loved one and find solace in their memories.

  6. Offer outlets for expression: Provide various outlets for children to express their emotions. This can include drawing, writing, creating art, or engaging in physical activities. These outlets can provide a healthy means for them to process their grief.

  7. Seek support from others: Encourage children to reach out to supportive family members, friends, or teachers who can listen and offer comfort. Additionally, consider seeking professional help through grief counseling or therapy if necessary.

  8. Be patient and understanding: Grieving is a process that takes time, and children may exhibit a range of emotions over an extended period. Be patient with them and understand that their reactions and behaviors are part of their healing journey.

  9. Take care of yourself: As a caregiver, it's important to take care of your own emotional well-being. Grief can be overwhelming, and by looking after yourself, you can better support the children in your care.

Remember that every child is unique, and their coping mechanisms may vary. Tailor your approach based on their age, personality, and individual needs. Providing love, reassurance, and a supportive environment can go a long way in helping children cope with the difficult experience of loss and grief.


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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