Grief in children is just as important as it is in adults. The whole family is involved in the mourning process, so we do not exclude children. It is a normal process, and for this we inform the child in time. We are always honest with children and we use simple and reliable information. The goal is to create a relationship of trust and for child to feel safe so that he/she can express himself/herself.
Each age has its own way of informing and managing mourning depending on the developmental stage of the child. The support of the parents and the family environment play a decisive role, but informing the school is also important.
We encourage the child to speak and we avoid passing on the message that it is a process that must end since in this way the process of mourning may not be completed and the child may not reach the acceptance of reality. Anger, crying, sadness, grief are emotions that are perfectly normal to experience in the process of mourning.
The inclusion of the child in events / ceremonies related to mourning such as funerals, memorials and visits to the cemetery takes place if the child wishes. Of course, this depends on the age of the child, his/her psycho-emotional temperament, his/her relationship with the deceased and his/her ability to understand the situation. Thus, it is necessary to have the preparation for what is the funeral, the memorial and the cemetery and what will follow during these ceremonies. We give him/her time to express any questions, possible concerns or concerns. If so, it is important to be with an adult who is safe and willing to meet any of his/her or her needs.
Make sure that the child’s daily life remains as much as possible the same as before. For example, bedtime, food, activities and contact with the environment.
Keep the memory of your loved one alive as it is necessary for the child to feel that the emotional connection can continue to exist through photos, objects, through a diary or drawings.
Mourning is a long process, so it is important to have constant support and understanding. If you notice that the grief is prolonged and there is now a psycho-emotional dysfunction, sleep and / or eating disorders and difficulties in the school environment then you should contact a specialist.