Loss can be many things - a relationship gone wrong. A young love or friendship that ends. The death of a loved one or beloved pet. It can even be a big disappointment that results in losing something important to you. While loss affects us in many different ways, it’s important to learn coping strategies for our mental health.
How to Talk to Children about Death
As parents, we try our best to protect our children from death, which is an unfortunate reality of life. But children are exposed to death in many ways, from the news to video games to their favorite books or movies. And sooner or later, we will get asked something like, “Are you going to die?”
So, how do we talk to our children about death and dying in a way that won’t scare them but respects their curiosity?
If you have, or know, a child who has been exposed to trauma, it’s important to seek out appropriate treatment and support. Trauma is the experience of violence or victimization including sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, domestic violence or witnessing of violence,
Exposure to violent events can be traumatic and can negatively impact multiple factors such as development, academic functioning, coping skills and relationships. Kids are not only being exposed to violence within their communities at a much higher rate, but also through technology.
News of natural disasters, mass shootings, bombs and politics is enough to frighten adults, but children may feel even more shaken. When tragedy struck at Sandy Hook, my kids were little – one was a toddler and the other two were still in preschool.
More On Our Sleeves Resources
On Our Sleeves: Broken Heart
Whether it’s your own broken heart or the broken heart of someone you love, feelings of loss can be overwhelming.
On Our Sleeves: Sad Face
A sad face is one of the most recognizable signs of sadness or loss, disappointment or feeling bummed out. But for some, it can represent a far more complex range of emotions.