How to Discuss Loss With Children: Featuring Christy Monson
Sammy’s dog Ginger was old. Her eyes looked cloudy, and she couldn’t see very well. She limped when she walked. As the days went by, she slept more and more, and her tail wagged less and less. One morning she didn’t wake up. Sammy cried. He didn’t understand. He was distressed.
How do we talk to children about death, loss, and tragedy?
- Listen to your child—his words, his actions, his emotions.
- Answer his questions honestly.
- Hold him while he cries and cry with him.
- His actions will give you clues to his emotional state.
- Discuss his feelings. Listen, listen, listen.
- Help your child work out their feelings by:
- keeping a journal
- role playing
- dramatic play
- using various art mediums
- punching a pillow
- kicking a pile of dirty clothes
Discuss memories of your loved one.
- Your child will always have his memories. He might want to hold his own memorial, like planting a tree.
- Help your child find positive reframes:
- Look for the good around them
- Spend time with family
- Enjoy new friends
- Find something to be grateful for each day.
FINDING PEACE IN TIMES OF TRAGEDY
Disastrous events continue to plague our world, and finding peace in times of trauma can be an overwhelming challenge. Personal shock after a death or tragedy can devastate a family for generations to come. This book discusses how tragedy physically changes the brain and the body, explains the healing techniques of mindfulness, and outlines skills for recovery from trauma. Personal accounts include a 911 survivor, a mother whose son was mangled in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, parents who had two children die of similar brain tumors, a young adult whose father committed suicide, and a rape victim.
FINDING PEACE IN TIMES OF TRAGEDY will be released April 1, 2019. Author Christy Monson is a retired therapist.