g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Bereavement Site

BellaOnline's Bereavement Editor


Children and Grief

Guest Author - Shirley McGillivray

Children develop thoughts and ideas about death at a very early age. They develop awareness from TV, cartoons and just by listening to conversations, but often their reactions and beliefs are developed by the way the subject is treated by the people close to them. Sadly far too often it is through whispered conversations and evasion of the subject that many children learn early on that it is a subject to avoid.

Children are not just short adults; they are unique individuals who are trying to make sense of everything happening around them. They understand loss in varying degrees but do not feel it any less intensely even if they do not express it in a way we would expect. Don’t expect them to mourn in the same way as an adult. While they will grieve and be sad at the loss, children are very much concerned with what is happening in their world right now. It is important that they are allowed to be children. There should be no guilt or blame attached to this behavior, but with the understanding that at any time, they may need comforting or answers to questions.

Healthy understanding and therefore acceptance, comes through talking, explanations and giving honest answers to questions at a level appropriate for their age. It is important to be open and honest, although children quickly learn whom they can or cannot talk to about their ideas and thoughts. Often a child will not ask what they want to know directly and it is up to us to discover what is behind their question and respond in an appropriate way. Be honest; if you don’t know, say so and perhaps try to find an answer together.

It is important that children are not excluded. They have also lost a loved one and will need to grieve in their own way. They shouldn’t be forced into certain behaviors as everyone reacts differently. No one more than children, who can often seem indifferent, should be allowed to participate in a way that helps understand.

Use words that don’t ‘mystify’ death; talking about ‘passing away’, ‘going to sleep’ or other similar expressions can confuse children and lead to other problems such as a fear of falling asleep. A child will only take in what they are capable of understanding. Using the words ‘death’ and ‘dying’ helps take the ambiguity out of your words and so the child will gain acceptance far more easily.

Most importantly, don’t hide your grief from a child. They learn how to react to situations from the adults in their life and knowing it is natural to grieve is a lesson that will help them now and in later life.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Children+and+Grief to Twitter Add Children+and+Grief to Facebook Add Children+and+Grief to MySpace Add Children+and+Grief to Digg Children+and+Grief Add Children+and+Grief to Yahoo My Web Add Children+and+Grief to Google Bookmarks Add Children+and+Grief to Stumbleupon Add Children+and+Grief to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Bereavement Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Shirley McGillivray. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Shirley McGillivray. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor