Coping With Change

mother and son playing, with photos in background

Remind your child, “Change is hard for everyone, but I’m still here to love you, and we’ll get through this together.”

Home life may feel very different after the death of a loved one. You may need to move, for instance, or need to get a job. Your relationship with your loved one’s parents and family may change. You and your family may face big adjustments. Here are a few suggestions that can help support your family:

  • Seek help. Get support from family, friends, and community (“Uncle Joey can take you to the park today” or “Cousin Emily can help with your homework”). Search for counseling or reach out to religious organizations, grief camps, support groups, and hospices.
  • Provide reassurance. Children need assurance that no one can ever take the place of the parent who died and that others want only to help your family.
  • Update key people.  Inform your child’s teachers, caretakers, and extended family about what’s going on. Ask them what they are observing in your child or your family. This can help you understand what your child is going through. Create a plan with them if your child needs extra help.
  • Maintain some routines. Children still need structure and your loving guidance, especially during difficult times. Keeping mealtimes and daily rituals in place can help.
  • Empower your child. Allow your child to decide how much information she wants to share with other people, and with whom.
  • Provide information. As your child grows older, matures, and develops her own world view, she may ask for more details. Give your child the information she asks for.

Next: Moving Forward


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