A death in the family is a difficult and confusing time for anyone—but it’s especially hard for children coping with the loss of a parent. If your child is going through this experience, it’s important to give them the support they need through the loss, funeral service, and the adjustment period that follows. Here are a few tips for helping a child through this trying time.
Explain Simply & Honestly
While you may be tempted to be vague or even lie to soften the blow, it’s healthier for your child if you can be honest with them. Explain what has happened in simple terms which they can understand. You should also express your feelings about the situation, both to model the type of expression you’d like them to do and to give them a vocabulary for their experiences.
Make sure your child knows that you’re willing to listen to whatever they need to say about what they’re feeling. At the same time, though, be aware that children often can’t express these distressing and complex emotions in words. Watch for changes in their behavior that can let you know how they’re feeling—including behavior which may be problematic, such as disobedience or lashing out.
Accept & Support
When your child does express themselves to you, make sure to accept their feelings and support them. Even if their reactions seem unusual, that’s all right—children may go through a wide range of emotions surrounding death. This can include relief or the mistaken belief that they’ve caused this situation somehow.
Offer Routines & Ritual
Whatever normalcy you can offer your child—such as a daily routine with predictable mealtimes and school—make sure to stick to it. This can help your child feel grounded in the midst of loss and change. A memorial ritual, either at the funeral service or at another time, can also help them find closure. This may mean visiting a grave, lighting a candle, or telling stories about your loved one.
As you and your children go through this difficult time, Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center in Corning and Creston, IA, is here to help ease your burden. Their experienced, compassionate staff is available 24/7 and will help with all aspects of the funeral arrangements, including providing a selection of caskets and urns as needed. For more information on their funeral services, call the Corning location at (641) 322-3156 or the Creston location at (641) 782-6555 or visit their website.