How to Help Kids Deal with Grief and Loss
Grief and loss could affect the child psychologically; that is why the child should be carefully monitored and observed for proper assessment. As much as possible, the child should not be left alone; instead the child should always be accompanied by an elder person.
Most children find it very hard to accept the situation of losing someone. This could be explained to the child so that the child will understand what really happened. Acceptance of the realities in life must be explained to children so that they will realize that losing someone is part of life and acceptance is the only way by which they could move on. Children sometimes get sick or they could lose their appetite to eat because of loss and grief. This must be addressed immediately because the child might get seriously ill.
Whether it is a family member, a friend or a pet that the child has lost; it is very important to take the case seriously and find out what can help the child accept the situation. Grief and loss could be a very devastating matter that can affect the child emotionally. This may affect how the child will look and go about things around him so it is very important for someone to be with the child when the child needs someone. If the child has someone to express himself then the situation will become easier for him to cope. The most important help to give to the child is support and care so that he will not feel alone in his lonely world.
I have seen a child who has lost his pet dog. He refused to eat and play with his friends. He refused to eat because he wanted his dog to have food too. The boy thought that his lost dog doesn’t have food where he was at the moment. He loved his pet so much that it has become his life. He refused a replacement of the dog because according to him, nothing could take the place of his beloved pet. Since the boy didn’t want another dog to replace his dog we didn’t get another pet but after a few days, we thought it better to buy a dog and show it to him. At first he didn't want to get near the new dog but we kept telling him that his other dog is in heaven being taken care of by God and the angels. After a few days and with much persuasion, he finally turned his attention to the new dog. Slowly, the boy forgot his lost pet and diverted his attention to the new dog. He became happier and he started to find his place with his new dog.
Helping children deal with grief and loss is very hard. Patience and time with the child is very important. Your support is very important. If you make the child feel that someone is there to love and take care of him; he will finally realize that he is not alone. He would overcome that grief easier with loving people around him.