Children and young people can react in variable ways following the death of a close family member or friend. They may experience:
4-7 year old
- Children in this age bracket can view death as temporary and reversible
- They may ask multiple questions about death and also be worried that they and others around them will die
- Not all children will have the words to explain how they are feeling, but this can be usually discerned by changes in behavior
- It is important to show understanding and empathy to the child
7-12 year old
- Children at this age begin to understand the finality and permanency of death.
- They may be very curious and ask questions about death and burials
- They might take on more responsibilities to try and please the adults around them
- Sometimes children feel different from their friends or peers at school, so try to hide the death
- They may feel a sense of rejection or guilt
- It is important to support children of this age with lots of reassurance, understanding and honesty about your feelings
- Allow for space and time for them to speak with somebody that they trust. They need to be able to express their grief and for their feelings to be acknowledged without judgement
We understand the enormity of experiencing bereavement at a young age. Grief Encounter is here to make this journey less isolating by providing support to you or your child in a safe, supportive way through a range of services.
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