Chapter 6: Supporting children in their grief


The grief expert says
Andrea Warnick, children's grief counsellor, talks about sharing information with children and following their lead.(3:22)Video transcript

My mother moved in with us when she needed more help with everyday tasks. This meant that we had to be very open and honest with our kids and answer their questions. Why is Granny living with us? How do we look after her? Why doesn’t she cook anymore? It took some adjustment – for all of us – but open communication has been key.

It has been hard to find the right words to explain this loss and grief to my child.

If you have children, you may be wondering how to share information with them about the person’s illness or about their death. You may worry about what to say or how to say it. It is natural to want to protect children from emotional pain, but research has shown that children and young people benefit from having early and accurate information about situations that affect them.

This chapter provides information and links to helpful resources for talking with children and youth. Considerations and suggestions are offered for ways to speak with children and answer their questions, clarify misconceptions, and support their connection with the ill person.