How to Help Children Cope with Death – Understand how children grieve
Death is an important part of life. Since adults play a significant role in helping children cope with death, it is helpful to understand how children grieve the loss of a loved one.
Children often have trouble expressing their emotions, but be assured that grief can have a profound impact on their lives. You may see the impact change them emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually. Walk along with them on this journey and assure them of your love and support.
How to help children cope with death is challenging since children handle grief differently than adults. Often, children grieve intermittently and take breaks from their grieving. As adults, our grief can be all-encompassing and we can sustain high emotion for long periods of time. If a child is having fun and expressing joy, adults should not mistakenly believe that the child has finished grieving.
As children grow, teach them that death is an aspect of life. Don’t avoid the topic, even though it is hard. Death is all around us, so look for teachable moments—a wilting flower, the change from summer to autumn, or even the death of a family pet. Children are capable of accepting death, especially when adults are open and honest about it.
How to Help Children Cope with Death - Tips
Here are some tips for how to help children cope with death.1 Remember that every situation and every child is unique and these are general principles.
How to Help Children Cope with Death – The Role of Faith
Many grief experts recognize the importance of faith in helping children cope with death. A basic understanding of Christianity teaches that our physical lives are temporary and our souls live on. The Bible teaches that the souls/spirits of believers in Jesus are taken to heaven.
The Bible says, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” For a believer in Jesus, including children who believe, there is great comfort in knowing a loved one is in heaven.