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Helping Kids Grieve

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Dealing with Loss: Explaining Death to Children |Sesame Street

Let her know that you will be there to listen when she is ready. For many young children, grief is temporarily interrupted by a normal feelings state, only to be replaced again by grief a few hours, days, or years later. Some common feelings or behaviors might persist, grow in intensity, or occur more frequently, signaling a need for extra attention.

For instance, children may have nightmares or scary thoughts, experience trouble sleeping, become excessively irritable, develop new fears, or exhibit regressive behavior. Remember: You are still a family Take care of yourself so you can better take care of your children.

Try to maintain healthy routines. Engage in activities that you enjoy and that help you feel calm.

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Allow your children to be children. This applies especially to older children, who may have new responsibilities but still need opportunities for fun and play. Next: Moving Forward. Find ways to say good-bye A funeral service may be the occasion for taking the first step in the grieving process, but you and your children may also benefit from a smaller memorial gathering.

Plan this gathering together and invite close family and friends. Allow everyone to share memories and stories.

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To help keep memories alive, look through photos together or carry a keepsake in your pocket, such as a small seashell or stone from a place you liked to visit with your loved one. As a family, gather pictures, clothes, or other things that remind you of your loved one and the good times you shared together. Then take turns telling stories or writing about each item. You may want to record these stories with your video camera. Try downloading the Memory Chain and, as a family, create a handmade remembrance of your loved one.

Remember, you can still have fun and love the person who died. A new family structure may emerge. You might find that you are open to living in a new place, or feel that you want to share your life with others who have gone through similar experiences. Give yourself and your children permission to feel happy again.

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Be assured that the memory of your loved one can live on in the hearts of your family. Celebrating your loved one's life and important place in the family can be a meaningful way to begin to move forward. Here are a few ideas:.

As your family heals, you can begin to think about the future in a positive way. Remember, you can still have fun and love the person who died. The death of a loved one is an experience that affects us all. These When Families Grieve resources will always be here to provide support to families during this most difficult time. To request When Families Grieve kits, please contact us at grief sesameworkshop.

Sign Up Already have an account? Log In. Now Playing: About Uncle Jack. About Uncle Jack. Expressing Emotions. You Can Talk to Me. The Memory Box. Explore the Tools in the Kit: Read quick facts, download resource guides, and more! Drawing pictures could be a great way for younger children to communicate.

For older children, writing in a journal may be helpful. If necessary, provide an outlet for your children to express anger or frustration. You might allow them to run outside, or give them play dough to pound on, beanbags to throw, or musical instruments with which to create noise.