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Children can be deeply affected by loss
They may experience many emotions like:
Lack of emotions
Strong feelings can be overwhelming for children. Some might get quiet and withdrawn, while others might express their feelings through challenging behaviours.
What you can do to help
Here are some tips to help you support a child who is experiencing grief and loss:
Offer support, reassurance and comfort
Find time to do enjoyable things together
Acknowledge or help them name or identify their feelings
Let them know they are loved and will always be cared for
Assure them that what’s happened is not their fault
Help them create a diary, memory box or special book to remember the person
Maintain normal routines to help them feel secure
Let them know that it’s ok to play, be happy and have fun
Allow them to ask questions and talk about their loss as much as they want to
Encourage them to talk to a caring adult if they feel uneasy talking to you
Provide clear and age appropriate answers to their questions
Keep things as familiar as you can (school, pets and household possessions)
Talk about your feelings and how you’ve been coping with them
Try to include them in decision-making when it directly affects them
Inform the school of what’s happened so they can provide additional support
Tell them that it is ok to be happy when they have a good memory of the person
Help them find ways to express their feelings through play, writing, drawing, music
Encourage them to spend time with friends
There is support available
We're here to help.
Encourage the child in your life to contact Kids Helpline if they need some extra support to cope with their grief.
You may find talking to somebody outside of the situation helpful. You could try calling Parentline in your state or territory to discuss your concerns.
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