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Activities to Help Kids Deal With Grief

by Cassandra Scheidies

Many children think that getting over grief means forgetting about their loss entirely, according to childresearch.net. Rather, understanding a different connection with the loss can help a child move through the grieving process. Activities completed with caring adults can assist a child in working through the grieving process and learning how to connect with the loss in a positive manner.

Art

Creating artwork helps children visualize their pain, according to childresearch.net. Tell the child that the artwork represents his pain and have him create a collage, draw a picture or make a sculpture. Then encourage the child the share the artwork and what it symbolizes to open a discussion about the grief.

Memorials

Encourage the child to pick a memorial fitting to the grief process. For instance, if a pet died, letting the child create a gravestone with a picture may help the grieving process. Another option could involve planting a tree to memorialize the loss, according to kidshealth.org. If there was a loss due to illness, helping the child start a fundraiser for the memorial fund will allow her to feel as though she is part of the solution to the problem.

Stories About Loss

Reading a story about loss can help the child identify with the grieving character. Ask the child who she most identifies with in the story. Encourage a discussion with the child about the grief in the story and how it compares with her grief.

Music

Allow the child to pick out songs and equate them with his loss. Talk to him about why these songs are meaningful to him. Tell him to write down the words of the songs that he most equates with the loss. Encourage the child to continue listening to these songs when he experiences sadness so that he can still connect with the loss.

Normal Activities

Encouraging the child to participate in normal activities such as playing sports, spending time with friends or watching a movie can provide distraction and normalcy to help deal with the grief, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. Help the child get involved with a school activity, or offer him an opportunity to get involved with something he has always wanted to do.

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