Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Talking to your kids

The team of mental health professionals who met with us tonight will be there again Wednesday evening at 5:00 PM to focus on adult grief issues.  Child care will be available in an adjoining room, so feel free to bring them, there will definitely be at least three children there to play with.

A few brief notes that we took that I'd like to share...perhaps other members can forward theirs to me or post comments:
  • It's OK to model grief (to be sad in front of your friends)
  • How you approach your children is specific to the child and their age and developmental level.
  • Answer their questions, but don't elaborate.  Only answer the question that is asked.  When a child has the information he or she can process, he or she will stop asking questions.
  • Expect regression (baby talk, bedwetting, thumb-sucking, wanting to be in bed with you), and it's OK to regress with them.
  • Empower the kids, helping them to understand what it means to be safe.
  • Identify people who help us to be safe (teachers, parents, police officers)
  • Reflect back emotions -- ex. if your kids suddenly bite each other, say something like "you must be really angry to be biting, huh?"
  • Validate their fears, validate their emotions
Project Enlightenment was mentioned as a good resource, as was Hospice.


Tania said...

I am so sorry for the childrens loss. Being form the area and having 3 of my own it really hits home. God bless her little girls and they will be in my prayers.

Anjelle said...

I just would like to extend my sympathy to Nancy's family, especially her precious little children. My thoughts and prayers are will all of the family, friends, those that assisting in recovering her and the police. I am sure the individual responsible will be caught. I am just so very sorry. Nancy seemed like such a wonderful person, and I know she will be missed by many.
God Bless you!

Norie said...

Will family and friends be creating an online memorial site? I've been researching online sites for a friend who passed away July 4th, and though I don't yet know which is the best trade off of cost and benefits, the opportunity for a community to share stories and photos looks like it can be very healing.

Anonymous said...

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network also offers materials for parents, educators, and professionals regarding coping with traumatic grief, exposure to violence, etc. The materials are accessible online at http://www.nctsnet.org.