Kids and Grief: How to Help

Below is a wonderful blog post I came across on LinkedIn. Children and grief is a whole separate topic and needs a different focus. The needs of youth are different than the needs of adults.

The site is good for many reasons and is owned by Chelsea Hanson, Grief Educator & Author.

How adults respond when someone loved dies has a major effect on the way children react to the death.

Sometimes, adults don’t want to talk about the death, assuming that children will be spared some of the pain and sadness.  However, the reality is very simple: children will grieve, anyway.

Below are ways to support kids who are grieving:

1. Talk openly about the death to help children understand that grief is a natural feeling.

2. Children need adults to confirm that it’s all right to be sad and to cry, and that the hurt won’t last forever.

3. Talk to the kids about how they are feeling. When ignored, children may suffer more from feeling isolated than from the actual death itself. Worse yet, they feel all alone in their grief.

4. Adults need to be open, honest and loving. Patiently, they need to answer questions about the death in language children can understand.

5. Adults shouldn’t worry about having all the answers. The answers aren’t as important as the way the adult responds.

To see our extensive Grief Works library, visit the Resources section of our website.  Grief Works is written by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a leading industry expert on grief.

* Original post can be found at:

1 thought on “Kids and Grief: How to Help”

  1. My 6-year-old granddaughter’s “other grandma” passed away Father’s Day 2014. Before she died, I wrote her and said that I would always tell my granddaughter how much “Grammy” loved her and how much joy she gave Grammy. I followed through on my word, but after the 2nd time I said, “Your Grammy loved you so much,” my granddaughter replied, “I know, Grandma. You don’t have to keep telling me.” I’m sure that gave Grammy a laugh!

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