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How to Support a Grieving Child

During the time when a child is grieving, you may find yourself unsure of how to support or help the child through their grief. Here are a few suggestions that you may find useful.

Give the child the opportunity to express their feelings or to tell their story. Let them be the teachers of their experience with grief. Help the child understand loss and death. Encourage the child to ask questions.

Remember to allow adequate time for a child to grieve, at the pace that works for them. The grieving process is just that, a process, and there is no timeline on how much time it will take.

Be honest with the child. Lies or half-truths will not help with the healing process, so be honest and open with the child.

Give the child the attention and support he/she may require during this time. Do activities with the child to help them cope. Perhaps you can buy seeds and plant them in memory of your loved one.

Throughout the process of supporting your child through the grieving process, we’d like to remind you to also make sure you are taking the time you need to grieve as well.

If you require more information on grieving children, here are some excellent resources: http://childgrief.org/documents/HowtoHelp.pdf
http://childgrief.org/documents/WordsthatHelpandHurt.pdf http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/griefwar.pdf

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