Helping Children Deal with Loss

by Betsy Ie, LCSW, Grief Recovery Specialist

Parents and caretakers generally do everything to try and help their children to be happy and successful in life by providing the best information and tools. We try to educate our children what not to do and guide them not to make the same mistakes we have made. As Stephen Moeller, a grief recovery specialist with the Grief Recovery Institute® reminds us “While we are generally very good in accepting happiness in our children, most of us, without even realizing it, send our children messages on a regular basis that sad or unhappy feelings are unacceptable.

We have often been taught to say such things as:
“Big girls and boys don’t cry”, ‘If you are going to cry, go to your room”
‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone!’

HERE ARE 5 STEPS to help children deal with loss more effectively:
The Grief Recovery Institute® suggests parents/caregivers:

  • Go first, tell the truth how you feel about a loss
  • Recognize that grief is emotional, not intellectual, and sad or scared feelings are normal.
  • Listen with you heart, not your head
  • Remember that each child is unique and has a unique relationship to the loss
  • Be patient. Do not force your child to talk. Give your child time.

REMINDER: Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind!

Are you interested in learning more about how to help your children with loss, contact Betsy Ie who facilitates a 4 week action based program helping adults give their children tools to deal with loss. The program is not therapy but it is therapeutic.

Betsy Ie, LCSW is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist by The Grief Recovery Institute®. Betsy is a partner of the New Directions Center and sees clients here at PCOL. To contact Betsy, email betsyiecgrs@gmail.com or call 609-731-4553.