This children’s mental health week, we wanted to share some advice from our care team on how to support children who are grieving.
1. Listen and give them support
This can be difficult when you’re grieving yourself but try to create a caring space for the child.
2. Use straight-forward language
Children can get confused, so try not to use language such as ‘passed away’, this will help them understand what has happened.
3. Be accepting of all questions and thoughts
When replying be as open as you feel is possible and appropriate for your child.
4. Remember that like adults, children grieve in different ways
This can range from being very quiet to showing behavioural concerns – there is no ‘normal’ way to grieve.
5. Be open to talking about the person who has died
Using the person’s name can be helpful, along with looking through photos, objects and things connected to that person.
Everyone grieves differently, including children, and it can be hard to know what the ‘right’ thing is to do to support them. If we can give children the space to talk about their feelings and express their emotions, we are supporting their mental health now and in the future.