Death of a loved one is like an emotional turmoil. Death of a parent means many added responsibilities on the single parent. A child has to deal with the loss with a strong mind and has come out of the grief which possible with parent’s support. Read on about the ways of helping a child deal with the loss of a dear one.
It is a very obvious situation of extreme grief that when one of the parents dies, the child suffers a huge loss. As you become a single parent
, you need to become even more careful on how you deal with your own loss and at the same time help your child deal with the crises at such a tender age. It is a very difficult situation for children as their sense of security gets very badly affected. As you help the child in coping with the loss, you are helping him develop a skill that will benefit him in his later years as an adult as well.
You Need to Explain Death
Have a quick look at how you can talk your child about death.
Make Child Understand What Death is Actually
The parent often feels that the child is too young to understand the concept of death, they are mentally too fragile. But in reality, children have a great deal of emotional strength and it is easier to help them understand difficult things from the objective point of view. They are curious about death and once you explain them the truth, they will be able to distinguish the imaginary from the reality. At the same time, you need to understand that your child is also feeling the pain, is in a mourning state and needs some time to grow out of it.
Make the Fact Clear
The younger the kid, the more easily will the child think in specific, concrete terms. So do not try to cloud his thoughts by saying that the “dear one” has “gone for a long trip” or is “into sleep”. It is very dangerous as the kid will expect the person to wake up or return. You might be required to repeatedly explain to him that the person is no longer there, and is dead. But stress the fact that he or she will remain forever in our fond memories. The more the kid asks questions like “will mom or dad come back?” be patient and controlled as you answer that he or she is no more and is dead.
Teach your Child to Accept the Reality
Kids can well find it difficult to associate death with everything. Explain that there are two facets of every living being, life and death. So try to retain your composure as you explain the facts to him and help them realise that death can happen to every living being around him, the pet doggy or the neighbourhood uncle. Remember, your attitude will brush on to the kid and he will find himself in a better position to cope with the loss.
Ways to Help Him Cope
Keep the following things in mind to help your child cope with death with and ease.
Be Calm, Silent and Patient
Make it a point to offer your calm and silent presence. The kid might give you an emotional stare or a comment; reinstate it by repeating and reciprocating the same. But, do not resort to meaningless phrases like “I know how you feel” because it is not really possible for anyone to “know” another person’s pain.
Try Stress Management Techniques
Always reassure the child that his feelings of grief, sadness, loneliness, fear and anxiety are normal. Every individual tries to vent out the negative feelings by some actions or behavior, you might come across some new behavior like tearing up magazines, newspapers, or punching cushions and pillows when alone. Allow them to do it and then offer compassion. Help him understand that it is all right to be angry but nothing should be done to harm others.
Go through workbooks and search for ways that help to cope up with such losses.
Divert Child’s Attention
Encourage the kid to participate in activities that are of interest to him. It can be anything from gardening, handicraft activities to writing, painting or reading. Help them make a memory book, pay their tribute to the deceased in their own way and participate in the rituals. They play a big role in the healing process.
As you spend time with your kid, you need to be very observant regarding his behavior. If you notice that they are just not able to cope with the loss, seek professional help immediately.