The day will come when your child will lose a family member or beloved pet.
As parents, we are faced with the difficult task of explaining the finality of death and helping our children understand how to cope with loss in their young lives.
Older school-aged children may be better equipped developmentally to understand life and death and the permanence of the latter. Preschool children are often confused by the physical absence of the deceased and often think they might just return one day.
We grapple with how much information is enough, how much is too much. We wonder if we should guide children through the process of mourning through play, professional counseling, sharing in memories, keeping a journal or all of the above. Trying to help your child get through the grief of losing a loved one is a daunting task indeed.
We would love to hear from you on how you have handled this onerous situation. Please log on and join the discussion. Some of the questions posed include:
- What is the best approach when discussing death? Straight-shooter? Vague or religious imagery?
- How has the death of a loved one affected your child at home? at school?
- What has worked for you?
- Have you ever had a well-intentioned response go awry?