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Resources to Support Grief


How to Support Children's Grief

"Anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve" - Dr. Alan Wolfelt 

First, take a breath in with a long exhale, and answer the following questions:

  •  Can I be honest with my own grief?

  • Can I acknowledge how my body is feeling?

    The answers to these questions are critical. To support grieving children caregivers and adults must recognize their own reactions and needs too. Without transparent acknowledgement of your own experience, adults unintentionally dysregulate children. This dysregulation increases mixed messages, and causes unintentional confusion.  

Preschool Age Reactions To Grief (roughly ages 2-4 years old):

  • Crying

    • Increase frustration around transitions.

  • Regression​​

  • Increase separation anxiety

    • Fear of participating in pre-death routine activities

    • Sadness around bed time

  • Repetitive questions

    • Around day-to-day task in addition about the death​

  • Direct explanation of the death to others

    • Remember: children are observing, and listening even when you can not directly see them! ​

    • Repeating the explanation is how children begin to process the reality of the death in their life. 

Preschool Age Reactions To Grief (roughly ages 2-4 years old):

"Grieving doesn't make you imperfect, it makes you human" -Sarah Dessen 

Let’s Work Together

Stephanie Heitkemper, MA MFT, LPC, RPT, FT

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