Managing Grief in Your FamilyMay 6, 2020
We all have lost familiarity to our day to day routines and have been forced to accept some degree of uncertainty. It is painful especially for children to lose freedom and connection, which is important to acknowledge. Read below for some tips on helping your family manage grief:
1. Accept all Feelings – It is important to remember that grief, while it may present as sadness, may also present as anger. Like with all feelings, when we acknowledge and name our feelings without judgment, we can take a step forward toward acceptance and toward feeling better. In this crisis, ALL feelings are OK.
2. Avoid making comparisons – Do not make comparisons to those who are in worse situations, or implying that your child is overreacting. And while it is important to have feelings of gratitude for our health and safety, help children to be compassionate with themselves around negative feelings as well.
3. Establish Check-ins – Begin frequent check ins on these negative feelings – maybe for 5 minutes a day – it will keep them from becoming too overwhelming. Instead of holding feelings in until they explode, children can work to express them daily in small ways. You can model this for your children by saying something like “I know there are many more concerns in the world right now, but I want to say that right now I feel angry that I can’t see my friends.” And as all of our households may be more tense and angry in these uncertain times, activities like maintaining routines and engaging in self-care are even more important.
4. Scary Scenarios and General Fears – Children may also be imagining scary scenarios or have a lot of questions about death related to COVID-19, but not related to the loss of a loved one. These kids may be exposed to news stories that show daily death tolls in numbers they have never seen before. If your child is expressing grief or general fears about death, try to help them name exactly what they are afraid of.
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For more tips like these, watch the video below: