November 23, 2022

How to Help Children See Death in a More Positive Way?

Losing a loved one is painful for anyone. But children experiencing it for the first time might be confused as much as they are sad. They will have different reactions depending on their age. Younger children might show regressive behavior, such as wetting the bed. On the other hand, older ones might worry about the death of other family members or even their own. 

Regardless of how children express their confusion and grief, parents and caregivers must support them during this difficult time. Here are some ways you can help them see death in a more positive light.


Ask Them About How They’re Feeling and Reassure Them

Ask your child what they’re feeling and tell them there’s no right or wrong answer. Reassure them that their sadness, anger, or confusion is normal and that they’ll feel better with time. Comfort them and give them the time they need to grieve. 

It’s okay to show them that you’re grieving, too. When you express your feelings in healthy ways, it gives them something to emulate. Avoid sudden outbursts of emotions because it can give them a negative view of death.


Give Them a Role to Play, But Don’t Force Them

Never force a child to attend a funeral if they don’t want to. But if they’ve expressed their interest, you can let them play a small role to help them feel included. They might choose to sing, recite a poem, or draw their favorite memory of the loved one that has passed. Let them decide if they want to contribute and how. 

Before the funeral, prepare them for what’s to come. Explain that there will be a casket, people will be sad, and there might be some crying. 


Talk to Them About the Afterlife

The concept of an afterlife can help a grieving child cope with their loss. It might soothe them to know that their loved one is in a better place and is free from pain and suffering. 

Even if you’re not religious, you can tell your child that those who pass on continue to live in our hearts and minds. You can make a scrapbook with them or draw the person to help them remember. It can comfort them to know that their loved one isn’t gone forever. 


Do Activities That Make Them Happy

While it’s vital to ask your child about their feelings and comfort them, don’t dwell too much on the sadness because it can be too draining for them. Maintain a routine and try to lift their spirits by doing activities they enjoy, whether playing outside, baking cookies, or making art. Help your child understand that life goes on. 


Seek Professional Help

Sudden or violent deaths can leave a lasting negative impact on your child’s mental health. If they continue to show signs of distress for more than a couple of weeks, it might be time to seek the help of a professional. They might have something called adjustment disorder. Talk to your child’s doctor so they can connect you to the right therapist. 


Call Wyuka Today!

The death of a loved one can be overwhelming for a child. But you can help them cope by being there for them and introducing more positive ways to view the situation. For more information, contact Wyuka Cemetery at (402) 474-3600.


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