I never thought I would be writing about grief. It’s not exactly a topic that most people want to discuss, but it’s one that I’ve become intimately familiar with over the past few years. My husband and I lost our baby, Dominic, and it’s been a journey of learning how to grieve and support each other through the process.
In this article, I want to share our experience and provide some tips on how to cope with loss and help children through their grief.
Children’s grief is often overlooked or misunderstood, but it’s just as real and valid as adult grief. As a parent, it’s important to understand how children grieve differently than adults and how to support them in their grief. It’s not always easy, but with honesty, clear language, and support, parents can help their children navigate the difficult emotions that come with loss.
In this article, I’ll be sharing some insights on children’s grief and how to express grief through art therapy and stories. My hope is that this article will serve as a valuable resource for anyone who has experienced loss and seeks guidance on how to cope and support their children in their grief.
- Children’s grief is often overlooked or misunderstood, but it’s just as real and valid as adult grief.
- Honesty, clear language, and support are crucial when discussing death and grief with children.
- Art therapy and counseling can be beneficial for children who are grieving.
- Parents should provide children with the freedom to express their grief in their own way and provide support and guidance to help them navigate the experience.
As a parent who’s experienced the devastating loss of my baby Dominic, I’ve learned firsthand the importance of coping strategies and support systems in helping children process their grief and emotions.
My family has gone back to homeschooling to have the time and space to grieve and process our emotions together. We’ve also turned to art therapy as a way to express our feelings and create a safe barrier for difficult emotions.
For children, coping with loss can be especially challenging. That’s why it’s important to offer support in the form of honesty, hugs, and listening. We’ve used imagery of cicadas to explain death and the soul to our children, and we encourage them to ask questions and express their grief in their own way.
We’ve also found that counseling and reading books about grief and loss can be beneficial for both children and adults. As a parent, my job is to listen and give my children the freedom to express their grief while also offering guidance and support along the way.
I’ve learned that children process and express their grief differently than adults, and it’s important to provide them with support, honesty, and love during this difficult time. Here are three things that I’ve found to be helpful when it comes to supporting children through their grief:
Honesty and clear language are crucial when discussing death and grief with children. It can be tempting to shield them from the harsh realities of loss, but it’s important to answer their questions as honestly as possible. Using age-appropriate language and imagery, such as the cicada metaphor mentioned in Part 1, can help children understand and process their emotions.
Art therapy and counseling can be incredibly beneficial for children who are grieving. These modalities allow children to express their emotions verbally and artistically, providing them with a safe space to explore their feelings. Reading books about grief and loss can also be helpful, as it can normalize their experience and provide them with a sense of comfort and understanding.
Above all, children need support from their parents and caregivers. Hugs, ‘I love yous,’ and simply listening can go a long way in helping children feel seen and heard during this difficult time. As parents, our job is to provide them with the freedom to express their grief in their own way, while also providing them with the support and guidance they need to navigate this challenging experience.
Expressing grief is like a stormy sea that needs to be navigated, but art therapy and storytelling can be the anchors that help us weather the waves.
When I lost my son, I found it difficult to express my emotions. However, through art therapy, I was able to express my feelings through creative means. My children also found art therapy helpful in expressing themselves. It gave them a way to communicate their grief without the pressure of finding the right words. Art therapy is a powerful tool for anyone who’s struggling to express their emotions, including children.
Storytelling is another way to express grief. It can create a safe space for difficult emotions to be shared, and it can help us make sense of our loss. When my children and I tell stories about our son, it brings us comfort and helps us remember him in a positive way.
Storytelling can be therapeutic for anyone who’s grieving, and it can even bring people closer together.
Expressing grief is never easy, but art therapy and storytelling can be the anchors that help us navigate the stormy sea of emotions.