How to Help Your Kids Through the Passing for a Grandparent
When an elderly relative in the family passes away, it’s difficult for everyone. But it can be particularly difficult for the grandchildren of that person to deal with. If this is something that your child is now experiencing for the very first time, it’s important to consider how you can help them as a parent. It’s tough for you as well as them, but there are some ways in which you can make things easier for them. Read on to find out more about this important issue.
Understand That it Can Take Time
First of all, you should understand that as a parent you have to be patient with your child as they navigate these new and unfamiliar emotions and experiences. It can take time for their emotions to come through and that delay might seem strange to you, but it’s actually very normal for children who are experiencing feelings of grief and loss for the very first time.
Answer Their Questions Factually
When your child starts to ask questions about what is happening and what it all means, you should try to answer those questions in a factual way as far as you can. It’s not a good idea to use complicated metaphors that might do more harm than good, so try to be as honest and as open as you can be, as tricky as that might well be.
Validate Their Emotions
The emotions your child is feeling and experiencing at this time are likely to be entirely new to them. That’s why you should go out of your way to validate those emotions. They won’t necessarily be outwardly emotions or crying a lot, and that’s as okay and as normal as crying and showing outward emotions. That’s why validation is key here.
Find Ways to Explain the Process of Mourning
The mourning process will be something that’s completely new and foreign to your child if they’ve never experienced anything like this before. That’s why you should find ways of explaining that process and what it all involves in a way that they can understand and that’s suitable for their age. From the cremation to the funeral service and everything else that’s going on, they’ll need some way of understanding it all.
Get Extra Help if Your Children Are Struggling
If you’re really struggling to help your child and they’re not coping well, it’s best to seek external help. There are plenty of grief counsellors out there who specialize in helping children navigate these difficult times and these strange new emotions. These professionals can often offer a level of support that you’re not capable of as a parent.
Dealing with the loss of your parents is tough enough, and trying to help your child through the process makes it even more challenging. It’s certainly not an easy process to deal with, but making sure your child is prepared and protected as it all plays out is always a parent’s responsibility.