Our children often hesitate to show and share emotion because they have not had a safe place to do that in the past. They may keep hard parts of their story from us because they are afraid we will think less of them, that we will think less of their first family, or that we will not be able to handle the knowledge of the sad things.
Our children often try to protect us by not showing their grief. Grief cannot be healed unless we first acknowledge that it exists. So…
- Model healthy expressions of grief. Everyone will experience loss and disappointment in life, when you do, allow your child to see you process it in a healthy way.
- Give space for grief. When your child grieves allow them to have space to do so. They will feel all types of emotions in connection with their loss. All emotions are valid. Giving your children space to work through each emotion and feeling will help them in the future to address feelings of loss and grief.
- Identify triggers. These emotions may be triggered by unrelated things such as the move to a new house or a certain time of year, a smell, sound, sight or taste. Helping your child know the triggers and were they come from will be a tool that will empower them to handle feelings of grief in the future
- Teach coping skills. Teaching your child tools to use in moments of intense feeling will help them to cope in the future in all types of situations. For example, kids can draw pictures, write in a diary, learn new ways to describe their feelings, find mementos that have special meaning for them, participate in ceremonies that commemorate the loss, and so on.
I hope these 4 points above can help you navigate the grief your child is experiencing over his or her past, as well as everything they have lost now in our present state of being. Our company, and our team, are holding you up in these uncertain times, and cheering for you every day.
Be at peace.