Did you know that grief in children can look very different compared to adults? Often times I believe that we underestimate how the death of a loved one can affect a child. Based on the child’s age and level of maturity it could look different within each stage in their life. How any child or young person grieves when someone they love has died will depend on many things, such as their:
their developmental stage
ways they usually react to stress and emotion
relationship with the person who has died
earlier experiences of loss or death
how others around them are grieving
amount of support around them
I came across this awesome blog post that goes over the different ways our youth grieve depending on the different ages check it out here. This article not only goes over the different age ranges but also offers coping skills. That’s why I carefully chose this just for you.
Some other ways to help children process through grief is Sand Tray Therapy. I shared this in my Grief and Faith Workshop as well and allowed my attendees to see this form of therapy up close and personal. This form of therapy can also be used in adults. This technique is extremely useful for children and adults that have a hard time expressing a scenario or thought into words. This takes the edge off and allows the creator to really be free to express themselves through this unique and powerful tool.
Another way to help children cope is using Art Therapy. It allows the child to relax and you really get to get into their heads. You can simply ask them to draw a picture of their family and you can use open ended and closed ended questions to explore the meaning of the picture.
Please keep in mind that if you are grieving yourself, seeing a Therapist or Grief Counselor can be very beneficial during this time of need.