When the child does not accept the death of the father or the mother
The death of one of the parents is one of the most traumatic events that a child can face. How to tell a child that his father or mother has died and help him cope with and overcome such a difficult loss. What children understand about death depends a lot on their age, but also on their personality
The death of one of the parents is one of the most traumatic events that a child can face. How to tell a child that his father or mother has died and help him cope with and overcome such a difficult loss.
What children understand about death depends a lot on their age, but also on their personality (personality) and their previous experiences. Emotional expressions, sadness, and coping attitudes also vary with age. Explaining the death of the father or mother to a child is not easy, and how we do it can influence how he copes with it, in what is known as "mourning".
Helping the child accept the death of the father or mother
We can understand grief as an adaptive process that occurs after the death of a loved one. Grief implies:
- Accepting the reality of death: that is, assuming that the deceased person will not live anymore, that we will not see her, that she will not return.
- Work the emotions associated with the loss.
- Learn to live in a world in which the deceased person is absent.
- Reposition the deceased person emotionally.
Grief in children is not the same as in adults, so answer their questions and doubts, allow them to express themselves emotionally, maintain their routines, have social and family support to guide them in the process and help them Managing grief is very important for the little ones.
How to communicate to the child that the father or mother has passed away?
Adults tend to want to protect children from such an event, and in an attempt to avoid suffering, we can delay the news or give it so that the children may not understand much of what happened.
It is important that the news of a loved one, that is as soon as possible, that we respond to the children's questions que, that we assume that they do not have to manifest the pain as we adults do, (they may not cry , but it does not mean that they do not feel it), adapt to the age and what they can understand, try not to expose them to episodes or situations that are too intense.How can children respond to the death of the father or mother?
Children can respond to loss in various ways, including: guilt, anger, or denial among others. It usually appears after the age of 6, and it is normal for children and adolescents to refuse to accept this reality. Denial is a way of dealing with something that is not understood or accepted. The child may fantasize about the deceased person, talk about him or her in the present tense, or keep waiting for the person in question despite knowing that he or she will not return.
It can also manifest aggressive behavior, or excessive humor . This is a sign that you are suffering the loss deeply and you need to express what you feel.Therefore, in the face of the death of one of the parents, the duel in the child, there is a possible lack of understanding of the process of death and a lack of resources to express what he feels.
Some warning signs that we can see in children that should be attended by a professional are:
- Anxiety problems that alter sleep, nutrition or nervousness in their daily activities.
- Bad humor and constant aggression
, even aggressions against their peers.- Depressive symptoms that remain more than expected: sleep problems, regression to previous stages, apathy, loss of interest in the things that previously interested you, loss of social interest.
- Difficulties to return to the academic environment:
Refusal to go to school or fear to face the day to day in class or their classmates. - Concentration problems that you did not have before and that are prolonged, affecting your daily activities.
- Loss of school performance del or interest in academic activities,
- Prolonged and unsuitable fears of their age. - Separation anxiety and fear that attachment figures die too.
In the event of any change, it is important to consult with a professional who will guide us and advise on how to manage the grieving process at home, not only of the child, but also of the adults facing the child.