Helping Children Deal With Grief

You can't protect your kids from the pain of loss, but you can help build healthy coping skills

Rachel Ehmke

Kids Grieve Differently
After losing a loved one, a child may go from crying one minute to playing the next. His changeable moods do not mean that he isn’t sad or that he has finished grieving; children cope differently than adults, and playing can be a defense mechanism to prevent a child from becoming overwhelmed. It is also normal to feel depressed, guilty, anxious, or angry at the person who has died, or at someone else entirely

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  • Children need words. Tell them what you are feeling, what you think about the situation. Then, encourage them to talk about what they think. It is important to validate their feelings and clear up any misunderstanding and misinformation they have.
  • Be proactive and find ways to help. Say a prayer, light a candle, give blood, go to your place of worship, you and your kids can donate some money to an organization that is helping with the situation. Make sure some of it comes from your kids, no matter how small the amount.

  • Talk to your kids about the event that is happening in simple language that they can understand, which is age-appropriate (i.e. Some bad people shot at some people in a building etc. Some people are hurt and some have died)

Videos For Children in Grief

Help A Child Through Grief 
Talking To Children About Death
Does My Child Need Therapy? 
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© 2019 by Journey to Healing