Helping Children with Loss – What’s the Problem and Whose Problem is it?

What’s the Problem and Whose Problem Is It?

Although this series speaks to helping children with loss, insert yourself in here as well.  I believe the majority of our world is operating from the experience of some type of loss, and they do not realize it.  And that is part of the problem.  Share your thoughts as you read this series to how loss and grief have impacted your life.

If you are reading this, there is a high probability that your child or a child in your care has experienced one or more losses.  It is impossible to set down a list of losses that would have universal application to everyone reading this.  The following list represents the most common losses, in the sequence most likely to occur in a child’s life.

Types of Losses

  • Death of a pet
  • Death of a grandparent
  • Major move
  • Divorce of a child’s parents
  • Death of a parent(s)
  • Death of a playmate, friend or relative
  • Debilitating injury to the child or to someone important in the child’s life

Only Part of the Problem

The fact that one or more of the losses listed has occurred is only part of the problem.  The other part is that you may not know exactly what to do to help your child deal with his or her feelings about this loss.

What’s the Problem?

Something has occurred that is negatively affecting your child.  You may be aware of this because of the ways in which your child is behaving.  Many of the normal and natural signs of grief are fairly obvious.  Most of those signs would be the same for a child’s reaction to a death, a divorce, or some type of other loss.  But for now, we will use a child’s response to news about death. Often the immediate response to learning of a death is a sense of numbness.  That numbness lasts a different amount of time for each child.  What usually lasts longer, and is even more universal, is a reduced ability to concentrate.

Common Reactions

Other common reactions include major changes in eating and sleeping patterns.  those patterns can alternate from one extreme to the other.  Also typical is a roller coaster of emotional  highs and lows.  As we mention these reactions, please notice that we are not labeling them as stages.  They are simply some of the normal ways in which the body, the mind, and especially the emotions respond to the overwhelmingly painful information that something out of the ordinary has occurred.

Normal Reactions

These reactions to a death are normal and typical even if there has been a long term illness, which may have included substantial time and opportunity to “prepare” for tht which will inevitably happen.  We cannot prepare ourselves or our children, in advance, for the emotional reaction to a death.

Examine the ideas you have about dealing with loss

The book “When Children Grieve” is about your child’s reaction to death and other losses, and what you can do to help him or her.  Because the topic of grief and potential recovery is so obscured by fear and misinformation, we are going to encourage you to examine the ideas you currently have about dealing with loss and to consider seriously whether those ideas are valuable for helping your child.  We are going to presume that you are reading this because you are eager to acquire the idea and tools that will enable you to begin helping your child right away.  so let’s get to work!

From the book.  . When Children Grieve written by John W James  and Russell Friedman with Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews

There is help . .

If you are interested in participating in the Renew Your Possibility – As Children Grieve 6 week Study group, sign up here.

This is a complimentary study group that will provide you some incredibly valuable safety tips and tools that you will be able to use for the rest of your life and your children’s lives.  I guarantee it.

Or, if you are not ready to take that step, purchase the book “When Children Grieve here . .

Or download one of the ebooks under the resources page and read up on grief.

Another option is to Schedule a 15 minute complimentary call to share what your experiencing so you can ask me questions.

Just take that first step.  Do something that you have not done before.  It’s ok, that your not ok, yet please don’t stay stuck in grief.  There is light on the other side.

Remember, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato

Yours in Gratitude and to Renewing Your Possibility. . .

Debbie  Your Grief Recovery Specialist®