It can be hard to talk to children and young people when someone close to them dies. We’ve provided a guide here to try and help you.
Use the correct terminology for example to say dying and died rather than ‘gone to sleep’, ‘passed away’ or ‘lost’ as this stops any misunderstanding or confusion and the possibility of difficulties in getting a child to go to bed etc.
Talk to your children about the funeral. Including them and give them choices to attend should they wish to and give them a chance to say goodbye. Freely talk about the person who has died and encourage the children to talk about their memories.
Different age children will grieve according to their developmental stage and understanding. Often children’s grief may be shown in their behaviour, distraught one minute then playing happily the next; this is all normal.
Inform the school about your children’s loss and ask your child what they would like to happen when they return to school.
It’s helpful to maintain the normal boundaries in the home regarding your children as this contributes to the child feeling safe. They know what they are allowed and not allowed to do but if you relax the rules it can cause concern on the part of a child.