Explaining death to a child can often be a challenge, but will be something that you'll need to deal with upon a death in the family. When a child's grandmother or grandfather passes away, the child may deal with his or her grief in a number of ways. Ideally, your family will be so open to dialog that your child feels comfortable discussing his or her feelings about the death with you. This might not always be the case, however, and your child may struggle with these feelings. In this scenario, it's advantageous to arrange your child to see a grief counselor, who can gently let your child explain what is going on. Here are some signs that you may wish to book a session for your child.
The Child Seems Inward
Children deal with their grief in a number of different ways, including going inward. While it's natural for people to often avoid talking about the grief that they're experiencing, children may be unable to process these feelings properly. You may notice that your child is acting upset, discouraged, or otherwise not like himself or herself. He or she may spend time alone, and you may notice that the child cries more than usual. These can all be signs that the child is struggling with his or her feelings of grief.
The Child Speaks Against The Deceased Person
In some cases, you may hear the child speaking poorly about the family member who has just passed away. This doesn't mean that your child disliked the family member; in some cases, the child will feel hurt that his or her grandparent has "left," and may respond by saying negative things about the family member. You should avoid disciplining your child over these sentiments. While you might not like to hear them, they're valuable in the sense that they show your child is having trouble with grief and could use some professional help.
The Child Doesn't Want To Hear About The Deceased Person
Children who feel hurt following the death of a loved one will occasionally attempt to block out memories of the person who has passed away. You may notice that your child no longer speaks about his or her grandparent, or tries to change the subject when you or your spouse shares a memory of the person. By having your child attend one or more sessions with a grief counselor, the child will be able to better deal with his or her feelings of grief.
Contact a funeral home, like Brown Funeral Home, for more help.