A close parent’s death – How to explain it to a child November 5, 2016 – Posted in: Parenting – Tags: communication, family, family topics
It’s a conversation every parent dreads.
I’m sure you agree with me that it’s something no kids should have to face.
I know the death of a close parent can be devastating for the kids, but sometimes fate hits people so hard in the face that it turns their whole world upside down.
I remember when I was in school when one of my classmate got the notification that her mom passed away, she fainted fall immediately.
It’s heartbreaking and you are shaken to the core but it’s very important that you give your kids the reassurance and comfort they need. Depending on their age and how close they were to the deceased parent, kids express their grief in different ways.
Here are a few tips that will help parents to explain the death of a loved one to their child and help the child cope with the grief:
Keep it simple and direct
Although it’s hard to tell kids about the death of a parent, it’s very important that you be honest and direct about it. Younger kids may not understand what death is, but try to be as accurate as possible. You can encourage your kid to ask questions and try to answer them in a way that he understands.
Allow him to express his feelings
Talk about how you feel and encourage your kid to express his thoughts and feelings. When you share your grief with the child, he becomes comfortable talking about his feelings too.
Listen to your child and comfort him
All kids don’t react the same way to hearing about the loss of a close parent. Some cry, some appear scared and some kids don’t react at all. Whatever be his reaction, make sure to stay with your kid and offer him love, hugs, reassurance, and comfort.
Ensure his security
When a parent dies, it is quite natural a child to fear that the other parent may also die leaving him all alone. That why it is important to reassure your child that he will always be taken care of no matter what.
Tell him that you will always be there for him.
Help your child remember the parent
Even though it is painful to talk about a deceased loved one, it is important to keep the memories alive for the child.
Remembering and sharing all those happy memories is very effective in healing grief and in triggering positive feelings.
The death of a close parent can be traumatic for a child. However, the grief can be lessened to a great extent by talking to him and giving him the love, support and comfort that he needs, to go through the difficult situation.