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How-To-Help-Your-Child-Deal-With-Grief

How To Help Your Child Deal With Grief

When a loved one passes away, children deal with their grief in all sorts of different ways. It can be extremely difficult for children to understand bereavement and recognise grief, but with the loving support of you, the parents, you can help your child get through it.

This week (14th-18th Nov) marks the first National Bereaved Children’s Week in Ireland, which aims to support parents, carers, and bereaved children.

The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) has organised the awareness week to highlight the needs of bereaved children and how to support them through difficult periods of loss. The week coincides with Universal Children’s Day and is aimed at those supporting bereaved children including parents, carers, teachers, sports groups, faith communities or friends in their local communities.

‘Children Grieve Too’ is the key message for next week. "We’re highlighting that we all have a part to play in supporting children through the journey of grief,” says Brid Carroll, Chair, ICBN.

“In Ireland, 80 people die daily. These are the parents, grandparents, cousins and siblings of our 1.2million children. Children grieve too with 2.2% of nine-year-olds having lost a parent, 6% a close friend and 28% a grandparent. We want to support family, carers and parents in their very important roles and also empower them to grieve their own personal loss.

Ms Carroll continued: “A child needs support to help them through their grief when someone closes to them dies. It will take time for them to gain a sense of security in life. They need to be heard and acknowledged when hurting; and reassured that the pain will lessen and life can improve. The care these children receive is vital to how they live with loss. It is a difficult task for parents and carers to support children when they are grieving themselves. It is important for families to draw on those around them for help. They should not have to cope alone. They need the support of family, friends, schools, faith and community groups as well as government. Bereaved Children’s Week is highlighting these issues.”

Click here for some downloadable A4 fact sheets, offering some guidance and information on supporting children before a death, supporting a child at the time of death, sibling loss and much more.

The ICBN is hosted by the Irish Hospice Foundation and funded together with Tulsa. See www.childhoodbereavement.ie for more info.


About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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