How to Help Your Child Deal With His
By Nelson Berry
Death is universal. It doesn't choose race, ethnicity,
and age. Yes, even children are very susceptible to it.
Unlike that of the adults, though, the death of a child
is always more painful and confusing. How can someone so
young lose his life over a disease or a traumatic event?
If it's hard for you to understand, then most definitely
it's a lot harder for your child.
You can prevent it. There's a huge chance that your
child has to deal with the death of his friend. As a
parent, you have to learn how to teach your kid how to
cope with it easily and effectively:
1. Be honest. It's always a good idea to never sugarcoat
death to a child, though you're always free to use
metaphors if it makes explaining a lot easier. For
example, if you're religious or Christians, you can
refer to death as going into heaven. Never say that his
friend is just going away for a very long time. Your
child may just wait-and get frustrated of
waiting-because of that.
2. Allow him to grieve. You'd know that your child is
grieving because he will become more withdrawn and
distraught. You may find him staring out the window most
of the time and often quiet. You should give him the
space to do all these things, and never tell him that he
shouldn't feel too sad about his friend's death. You're
not in the position to really judge what he truly feels.
You just need to make sure that he doesn't fall into
intense depression. This normally happens when his
depressed feelings go on for more months or when he
entertains thoughts about death himself.
3. Allow him to ask questions. A lot of parents make the
mistake of not answering their kids' questions. They
believe that by doing so, they protect them from further
pain and hurt. However, your child also deserves to
know, and by answering his questions, you would be able
to help him process the idea of death.
4. Help yourself deal with stress. Dealing with a child
who is grieving can be very stressful for you. There
will be times when he's irritable or moody. No amount of
consolation would make him less sad. He may not be
following some of the routines you're both used to.
However, you cannot afford to let the stress get the
best of you. Once you do that, you will lose your
capacity to fully support your kid physically and
It can help you a great deal if you implement the use of
subliminal messages or affirmations to boost your tired
spirit. Whenever you feel so lost and exhausted, you can
remind yourself that "My child needs all the love and
support I can give" or "Stress doesn't last for a long
time. I can get over this."
Note: The subliminal messages can also be helpful to
your kid. For him, you can look for videos or images
that showcase about eternal brotherly love.