Helping kids deal with Loss and Grief
Although we can’t protect our kids from the experiences of loss and grief, we can assist them working through the emotions. We can help them by building solid coping skills that will serve them well in future.
Most kids are aware of death, as it is a common theme in cartoons and many stories too. The firsthand experience of actually losing someone dear to them can work out totally different, confusing the child.
When assisting a child experiencing Loss and Grief, there are many things an adult can do:
– make the child(ren) feel safe;
– allow and encourage to express their feelings;
– be direct, try to keep your choice of words literal and simple;
– there are many other ways to ‘say goodbye’ instead of attending a funeral, leave this option open;
– stick to the day-to-day routine, kids thrive on routines, especially in an emotional state where routine is most of the time the only constant in their world.
Allowing and encouraging the kids to express their emotions is an important skill to work on. Most kids will find it easier to express themselves by drawing and colouring pages rather than finding the right words to write.
One of the exercises can be ‘My ♥ map’, similar to a mind map but then an emotional one. This particular one is designed for all the kids, parents and guardians currently facing the challenge of coping with loss and grief.
Each puzzle piece in the ‘heart-map’ can be filled with favourite memories, in words or drawn.
My ♥ map (pdf.) is free to download
This colouring page is part of a yet to be released workbook filled with these types of exercises.
Should you feel the need for more positive mindset exercises, please download a free copy of Dream Catcher – a Growth Mindset training for kids.
Should you notice that the child seems unusually confused and down, please contact a health professional near you.