Grieving Children

Understanding and Supporting Grieving Children

Not long ago, psychologists did not accurately understand the way children grieve.  In fact, in some circles it was thought that children did not grieve at all.  Thankfully, we now know that in fact, children have their own unique patterns of coping with separation and loss, which are distinct and different from adult patterns.  It is critical to account for children’s levels of cognitive and emotional development when supporting grieving children and helping them cope with their own grief.  Paying close attention to what they understand about death will help them learn to tolerate their own and others’ grief reactions. 

Furthermore, kids mimic their parents as they learn and develop in all ways and maybe in particular in how they cope with adversity.  Therefore, it is essential that parents find a fitting language and belief system for the experience of loss in their own unique family system and teach their kids to regulate intense emotions and pay attention to maladaptive behaviors.  The Center has worked with countless families to help them through the phases of grief and mourning in a way that is sensitive kids’ needs.  Some of our staff are childhood development specialists and can tailor-make their approaches to help families with children who are living through loss.