Psalm 34:18 states, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
During this episode, Lee Ann Mancini delves into the important topic of helping children cope with grief and loss from a Christian perspective. With a compassionate and insightful approach, she shares eight essential ways to support children through the difficult emotions and challenges of grief, whether it’s due to the loss of a loved one or other significant changes in their lives. She offers valuable guidance for parents navigating the complexities of helping their children find hope and healing during challenging times, such as watching a child mourn the loss of a loved one. Children express and cope with grief in various ways, often determined by their age and connection to the situation or person. The support they receive from family and friends is critical in navigating through this emotional journey.
Lee Ann elaborates on the following eight ways to help children cope with the grief and the loss of a family member or friend:
- Use age-appropriate and clear language to explain the situation. Encourage them to share their feelings and share fond memories.
- Listen to their emotions without always offering advice unless they ask for it. Let your child take the lead in conversations and respect their emotional boundaries.
- Reassure them that time brings healing and their routine will remain stable.
- Encourage them to engage in healing activities like art, writing, or scrapbooking.
- Prepare them for condolences and affirm that they don’t have to respond if they’re not ready.
- During funeral services, ensure they’re not pressured into anything that makes them uncomfortable.
- Rely on the word of God and read Bible verses or post them throughout the house.
- Let your children see your trust in God during this time.
Matthew 5:4 states, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” And Revelation 21:4 states, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed.”
We can remind our children about the comforting promises in the Bible and guide them toward the belief that their loved ones are in heaven, free from suffering. This is not only their belief but also the promise of God. As adults, we need to find healthy ways to deal with our grief and loss to help our children navigate through theirs.
For more resources, Focus on the Family offers many resources on helping kids cope with grief and loss.
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