Q:

How can you help children cope with the death of a grandmother?

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Quick Answer

Talking to kids about the loss is one of the most important things to do after the death of a grandmother. Encouraging kids to express themselves about the loss in their own ways, through writing, drawing or other forms of expression, is also helpful. If a child's behavior changes dramatically and causes concern, seek grief counseling from a licensed mental health professional.

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While death is an inevitable part of life, it can be difficult for young children to cope with. Adults may be able to verbalize the difficulties they are experiencing with the loss of a loved one, but kids and teens may have more difficulty putting their emotions into words, explains KidsHealth.

When talking about the death of a grandmother, it's important to discuss death in a way that children understand. KidsHealth suggests that parents explain death in concrete terms to kids between the ages of 5 to 6, because they are literal thinkers. The term "passed away" may not make sense to younger kids, but explaining that the grandmother's body stopped working because she was elderly may be helpful.

Allowing kids to draw images of their grandmother or write about their experiences with her may help them mourn the loss. Artistic expression can be very cathartic and help children understand their feelings. This coping strategy also teaches kids healthy ways to cope with other losses they may experience in life.

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