One of the worst things that can happen for a child is to lose their parent to a tragic death at an early age. This type of pain is something that you as the surviving parent can’t just take away from their heart or mind. And although you may be suffering through this horrible situation as well, your care for your child may take precedence over your own feelings at this time. So to help ensure that you’re able to give your child the support that he or she may need, here are three tips for helping your children through the death of a parent.
Try To Stick To A Routine
With all the upheaval that is happening in your child’s life right now, one of the most important and helpful things you can do for your child is to assist them in sticking to a routine. According to KidsHealth.org.nz, the continuity of their normal routines is going to be very reassuring for your child at this time. Knowing this, try to do what you can to continue the activities and rituals that you did before the death happened. By doing so, you’ll be able to help your child feel secure and at ease as he or she tries to cope with all the new changes bound to be taking place.
Allow Them To Grieve In Their Own Way
When it comes to the process of grieving, everyone moves through it in their own way and at their own pace, including children. What’s going to the best the thing for you to do to help your child grieve, according to Kathy Hardie-Williams, a contributor to GoodTherapy.org, is to allow them to grieve in their own way. Try to be someone that they can come talk to no matter what feelings they’re currently going through. Also, try not to make your child feel like they should or shouldn’t be acting or feeling a certain way. Whatever they’re experiencing right now is real and raw and perfectly normal, even if it’s not what you necessarily would have expected from him or her.
Give Them A Way To Get Closure
If your children are very young, it might be hard for them to understand what’s truly going on with the death of their parent. Because of this, your children might not feel the closure that’s so often found at a funeral. If this seems like the case for your family, Rachel Ehmke, a contributor to ChildMind.org, suggests finding another way that could help your children get closure. You might want to plant a tree for their parent so they can always remember him or her, or you could also do something like releasing balloons in the sky or having some type of memorial service with just your family.
To help your family deal with this loss and come through the other side as a strong family unit, consider using the tips mentioned above to help your child maneuver this monumental loss.