Handling the loss of a loved one is difficult for adults let alone kids. Helping your kids understand what has happened, and why, is not an easy task. The best thing to do is to be honest and take time with your kids to explain what has happened, then be there for them when they have more questions. Dr. Prakash Massand, CEO of Global Medical Education (GME), an online medical education resource that provides timely, unbiased, evidence-based medical education and advice, and a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, says while these conversations can be difficult, they are necessary for the mental health and well- being of your children. His advice to make it easier for parents:

  • Ask questions and be supportive – Never assume your child fully understands tragic events. Children have wild imaginations and have a hard time sorting their emotions out during a tragedy. Ask direct questions like, “what are you feeling” and “what’s bothering you” to fully understand what’s going through their mind. Never ridicule or make fun of a child’s feelings and always offer support.
  • Encourage children to express feelings – This can be done through talking, drawing, playing or whatever means makes the child more comfortable.
  • Honesty pays – explain to your children that although the loss of someone so young is rare, unfortunately it does happen from time to time.
  • Remain calm – Children love to mimic the behaviors of their parents. The way adults react to events is often the way the child perceives and reacts to the event so try and stay calm.
  • Maintain a child’s routine – After a traumatic event, stick to your child’s normal routine. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat meals at the same time, and engage in every activity you usually do. Ignoring a child’s routine after tragedy will make him or her feel more anxious.
  • Reinforce a sense of security – Over the next few days, spend a little extra time with your child to reinforce feelings of safety and security.
  • Recognize a real phobia vs. a simple fear – Most children are afraid of one thing or another and most of them outgrow these simple fears. When a child has a real phobia, you want to look for signs of obsessive behaviors and thoughts, avoidance behaviors, recurring dreams/nightmares and being unable to become excited about something that should be fun. This is when parents should consider professional help.

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Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc. My business story started a way back in 2001... …after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions. The latest addition to our family is the School Age Resource Guide to serve parents of children, 3 to 18 years!  This guide answers questions about: nutrition, bullying, curriculum, building self-esteem, and much more, as well as offering a full directory of local and national resources. The Parentguide.ca website offers an “all-in-one” spot for parents to connect, add their own blog, and find needed resources in their community.  It is a site that educates and entertains and if you can't find somthing just ASK me. I am here to serve YOU!  My hope is that you connect with our members, find comfort in their words, and share your own story. My goal is to see what I can do to help make life a bit easier for you.   You are why I do what I do! I can’t wait to get to know you!  Comment below to tell me about yourself – then start blogging so we can find out what makes you get up in the morning!  Check out my blog too and I am sure you will be surprised what gets me out of bed each day!!! Jennifer -  Mom and Publisher

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