Child, Health, Kids News, Parenting

Grief in children

Grief in children

How parents can deal with child grief

If your child suddenly withdraws, seems to be thinking a lot and maybe even cries suddenly, the alarm bells will ring for parents. Of course, they want to help their child get over their grief as quickly as possible and leave no stone unturned. However, too much of a good thing can be counterproductive in this situation. Parents are better off dealing with child grief slowly.

Withdrawal: Always a warning sign?

It doesn’t matter what age: if the child’s behavior changes, it is quickly noticeable. In many cases, a sudden withdrawal in particular represents a strong contrast to the otherwise lively hustle and bustle. If the child is looking for peace and quiet and obviously wants to avoid being around other people, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Some boys and girls like to think for themselves about the problem that is bothering them before taking it up with their parents. It is therefore important to also allow withdrawal. Rapid action is only required if there is no improvement after a waiting period, the child seems increasingly hopeless and sad and physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches m


Always carefully investigate the reasons

Very “ordinary” child grief, however, usually disappears quickly. Maybe there was an argument with your best friend, a lecture from the class teacher or other difficulties that are not so easy to process and overcome. Parents would do well to approach their child cautiously in this situation and not to ask any probing questions. Those who have grief don’t want to be questioned, they want to talk about it themselves. Therefore, children should be given their privacy permit. It is often enough to hold your own child in your arms and tell them that they always have a contact person in mum and dad. Older children in particular appreciate it when parents don’t just rush in, but give them the opportunity to make their own decisions. It can also help to talk about your own childhood and your grief experiences. Many children are happy to hear that mom or dad felt very similarly, and as a result are happy to reach out to them with concerns. A trick has proven its worth for smaller children who don’t dare to talk about their grief even with a lot of loving attention: their favorite stuffed animal can be used as a good mediator. Parents take the animal on their laps and talk to it. “Do you know what’s going on with Sophie today?”,

Advice is not always good

If it then becomes clear where grief and worry are coming from, parents should use well-intentioned advice sparingly. Of course, they certainly have many ideas on how to solve the problem and would like to see a quick improvement. Children, however, could only be unsettled by too many tips and tricks. It is better to have a quiet conversation, accept the grief and, after extensive consolation, look for a way out together.


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