WASHINGTON, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The death of a relative, friend, or pet is difficult for anyone, but even harder when it impacts a child. It's not easy to talk about, but Kids.gov, the government's official web portal for children grades K-8, has some tips for you as you help your child cope:
- Explain that death is a hard part of life. Let them know you are open to answering questions, even though you may not have all the answers. Be as clear and simple as possible. Avoid using terms like, "went away," "lost" or "went to sleep." Children think very literally, and it may make them afraid to go to sleep, or scared when someone leaves.
- Be patient. Allow your child to work through their grief, assuring them that they did nothing wrong and didn't do anything to cause the death. Open communication helps keep kids from bottling up their emotions. It's ok for them to cry or feel angry.
- Alert other adults in their life (teachers, coaches, religious figures, etc.) so they can provide additional support.
- Do something special to remember the person or pet that died: write a poem, plant a tree, look at pictures, run a race in their honor, volunteer in their memory, visit their grave or other significant place.
This may be a painful time for your entire family. Remember that everyone deals with death in their own way and on their own time--there is no "right" way to grieve. Hopefully, in time, your child will be less sad, but don't hesitate to seek professional help if you sense that things are not getting better.
Contact: Colleen Bayus, [email protected]