It is important to recognize that children are impacted by death in a very different manner than adults, and that coping devices that work for older people such as funeral services will affect children differently. Depending on their age, life experience, and relationship to the deceased, a child can show signs of mourning in unpredictable ways. Learn how you can help your child through difficult times with these suggestions:
Consider Death From a Child’s Perspective: Children tend to have a very literal perception of the world. Keep in mind that your child probably does not process death in highly conceptual or metaphorical terms. You can help your child understand death by speaking in simple, concrete language. Try to catch yourself from using figurative expressions. Unless you are integrating your spiritual beliefs, it can be confusing for children to hear that a loved one has “left for a better place.”
Create an Open and Honest Atmosphere: There is no right or wrong way to react toward death; however, your child might be self-conscious about how to feel. Emphasize that the mourning process is different for everyone—even for you. By creating a more open and communicative atmosphere, you can help your child take the first steps toward reconciling their confusion and the concept of death.
Share Your Experience: Many adults tend to think that they need to hide their grief for fear of causing the child more pain. However, this can send the wrong message to your child. Let them know that it is okay to be sad. If your child notices that you are trying to disguise your emotions, they may end up feeling even more conflicted about their own natural sadness.
Attending a funeral service can be a confusing experience for your child, but it can also help them come to terms with the loss of someone they love. At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes in Chicago, we provide access to a number of grief support services to ensure your family’s ultimate well-being. Call (773) 846-6567 for more information.