Preschoolers Family Blog: "Grief in Childhood" by Dr. Bade Vardarlı
As a result of difficult life events, children experience many emotions. Sometimes children do not show emotions like anger, disappointment, loneliness, sadness, fear, guilt, etc. It is not to talk about these feelings. However, when emotions are not shared, they make life difficult and sometimes these unspoken emotions arise in different forms such as behavioural problems. Therefore, children need our support regarding the emotions they experience.
Mourning is the loss, pain, and sadness we experience when we lose someone / something we cherish and love. Children mourn the death of a relative, their animal, their parents' divorce, and when they lose a favourite toy.
• If you observe that your child is in shock or confused by what happened, help him to realize the feelings he cannot name.
• Emotions such as anger and sadness may be revealed. When your feels very angry that feeling may suddenly change to sadness. At such times, approach your child patiently.
• At the bargaining stage of grief, children may desperately think that whatever they do differently they were able to change the situation. They can blame themselves for the situation. During this period, they often make sentences starting with "I wish I were". You can talk about what your child wish to done differently about the loved one. And you can remind your child that this is not his fault.
• Your child may be willing to look at the photos, to hide lost person’s/animal’s belongings. This is very normal, let them do it.
After the grief process is completed, feelings that your child has not experienced for a long time may come back during important times such as anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and celebrations. At times like this, your child will need your emotional support.