Monday, June 11, 2018

Role-modeling Sadness to Children

1.   Identify the loss and the pain of sadness. Loss is part and parcel of being human and need not signal the end of life as the child knows it. Appropriate grieving and recovery gives the child hope for the future and shows that it is possible for life to continue bringing memories along with it (e.g., carry the memories of the person you love in your heart and mind)

2.   Verbalize calmly and appropriately “My heart is so-sad . . . “ or “My heart hurts because . . . “

3. Be congruent: Exhibit a sad expression. This may or may not include tears. Avoid sobbing and hysteria, which can frighten a child. Avoid prolonged periods of sadness—get help to resolve this as needed. Children need a happy childhood. Doses of reality will definitely be there as circumstances arisebut they should never be allowed to destroy the joys of childhood.)

4. Exhibit appropriate actions: This will depend on the type of loss. The goal is to move through recovery and embrace living a full life in a timely manner, retaining memories but letting go the sting of the loss.  More tomorrow.

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