Grief is actually a responsive outcome of the human brain to a traumatic loss. Children are very delicate, and so are their emotions. They may easily get affiliated with toys, pets, and, most importantly, people around them. It is very normal to get hurt by losing something very special to them.
Grief is accompanied by many emotional outcomes such as denial, guilt, sadness, and loss of interest. Responsible parents must keenly observe these signals. Parents can play a significant role in letting their kids come out of the situation.
Why Is It Important To Manage Grief
Grief and sorrow is a difficult emotional situation. In many cases, adults and even older people are seen struggling with grief effectively. For kids and teens, it is even more important to deal with grief effectively and avoid negative health and developmental outcomes. Patents can use different grief management strategies to help out their children
Addiction In Teens
In many adverse and extreme conditions, when children, especially teens, become unable to deal with their grief appropriately get into addiction. Research has found that a large number of teens turn to drug and alcohol addiction because of unmanaged grief.
It is therefore very crucial to manage grief appropriately. Addiction is very harmful, and it can destroy both the physical and mental abilities of youngsters. Unmanaged childhood trauma increases the possible risks of addiction. Fortunately, there are many alcohol addiction recovery programs that are specifically designed to help such teenagers.
Effective Grief Management Strategies
It is for sure a very challenging task for parents, and they have very little control over things in this regard. However, adopting certain strategies might help them in helping kids to manage grief more appropriately. Let us review some of these strategies.
Stick To Normal Routines
A loss or trauma results in an emotional as well as a routine imbalance. It is essential for parents to manage as much consistency in routine as they can. Some kids might push back more than normal; it indicates that they need more flexibility. Provide them little flexibility whenever required but otherwise manage consistency.
The consistency in normal routines gives kids a much-needed sense of protection and security. Their little minds are getting the message that there is someone looking out to them. This helps in keeping the bond strong and staying connected with them.
Love And Attention
This is a very important aspect; basically, children should feel and get the message that they are significant. This message is well conveyed through love and affection. As they are going through hard emotional times during grief or loss, hence they need both love and affection from parents the most at this time.
Parents should make sure that the kids’ feelings of sadness during the grieving process are counteracted with immense love and affection. Furthermore, parents can have one on one session in terms of a talk with their kid. You may even take your child to his favorite place to divert his attention.
Letting Go Of Expectations
There are many signs that indicate that the kid is going through a grieving process. Parents should act responsibly and understand that it is normal, and they would eventually come out of it sooner or later. For this, parents must let go of expectations.
For instance, it is very common to observe changes in a child’s academic progress, disturbance in sleep, and appetite pattern. Even mood fluctuations are among very common outcomes of grief or emotional trauma. More patience is required from parents during this phase.
Teach Children Manage Emotions
The best way is to model and set an example in front of kids. Modeling that you are also going through the same, and you know how it feels like. In this way, you can acknowledge the grief of your child and yet teach them that it is manageable.
If your child is going through a grieving phase, it is better to be cautious of your words and speech as it can possibly put your kids under extra stress. Teach your children healthy ways of grief expression.
Relieving Kids Of Guilt
When kids are going through grieve process, it is very common for kids to blame themselves for the loss. Not only kids, but such behavior is also common even in adults. Grief based on an emotional trauma often makes individuals feel responsible and stay in the guilt for years.
Parents can help children to relieve themselves of such guilt. The best way is to repeatedly let your kid know that there is nothing he could do about it, and certainly, it is not his fault. Parents just need to know how they can sensibly help kids come out of grief-based guilt.
Finding Grief Outlets
Often grief is accompanied by many other emotions such as anxiety and anger. It is essential to help your kid carefully manage to let these emotions out through different means. The most common and effective means are communication, play, creativity, and other anger relief practices.
It is also crucial to understand that not all children are equal and what might seem appropriate for one does not seem to work for others. Parents should understand through what means the kid is letting his emotions come out and support him in every possible way.
Seeking Outside Help
Outside help in terms of a psychologist, counselor, and even support groups are very effective means to support the grieving process in children. Oftentimes parents, despite all their efforts, might struggle in dealing with the grieving process. In such cases seeking professional help can really work out.
Grief, anxiety, and anger are all common emotional outcomes that are experienced after a traumatic loss. Children also get to experience grief, but they can barely understand the phenomenon. Parents’ supportive role can help kids better deal with situations. There are numerous strategies that can support parents in the healthily grieving process in kids.