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I am a young person under 12

If you are a parent of a child under the age of 12, you will have experience of the difficult questions they can ask. It is very common for children to step in and out of their grief, with feelings going up and down, day to day. Take a look below at all the available resources we have at Grief Encounter.

I am a young person under 12

When someone really special to us dies, it can be very confusing. We feel so many different things, and sometimes all at once. You might feel sad, angry, alone, confused, happy, relieved or something completely different.

Grief Encounter has some wonderful grown-ups who can help you to talk about how you feel, draw about how you feel, think about how you feel, sing or play music about how you feel or even play with things that help you understand how you feel – which makes it feel less scary, and a little better.

You might also meet Mr Good Grief, our puppet hero, who can help you to remember the important person in your life and is wonderful at giving hugs!

If you are feeling like the odd one out, we have days where you can come and meet with other children your age and make memories about your special person with others who have also had an important person die. Making friends and knowing there are other people who understand how you feel makes if feel less lonely, and you might enjoy talking with others about what they are feeling too.

We also have groups where you can spend time over a few weeks thinking about different things, maybe making things or reading a story together with other children who understand, to help you all share your big feelings, so they become less big and less hurting. We might use a story like the ‘Invisible String’ to think about how we are still connected. Take a look with a trusted adult and see what you feel:  https://youtu.be/xm7syTd9xSs

However you are feeling – it is ok and more importantly, it is ok to ask for help – that is what we are good at.

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More information for parents

If you are a parent of a child under the age of 12, you will have experience of the difficult questions they can ask. It is very common for children to step in and out of their grief, with feelings going up and down, day to day. Being available for answering questions, and using age-appropriate but direct words, such as death and dying, is important to help their understanding. Avoid using terms about ‘going to sleep’, ‘gone’ or ‘being lost’ as this can give more fear and confusion. Using real world examples such as the leaves on the trees or even referencing Iron Man from the Avengers series, can help them to understand the permanence of death.

Reading books
Books and reading can be a great tool to demonstrate grief, and open conversations. Books such as Chocolate Chipped, The invisible string or Paper dolls, can also help to encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling, recognising the big feelings they have, and know they can come to you with them.

Memory making
Memory making is also important. We have an age-appropriate Grief Encounter Memory Book, created by our Founder, Dr Shelley Gilbert MBE, and a memory bear, that can help encourage this. At home, you could also ask them what they would like to do to remember and suggest making something alone or together for their special person who has died.

For more practical ideas of ways you can interact with your child and help to encourage conversations about their grief, follow the link below to our Useful Guides.

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