Talking to Children about Grief

  • Model calm and control for the child.
  • Tell the child the truth.
  • Limit the amount of information to the main facts. (Children will only take in the amount they can handle.)
  • Limit the amount of exposure to television.
  • Define new words they may be hearing:
    • Example: “terrorist” or “retaliation”
  • Reassure the child of his/her safety at home and at school.
  • Provide constructive outlets for expression:
    • Play – very young children can act out their feelings
    • Drawing
    • Writing – cards, letters, poems, stories
    • Discussion
    • Community/school project – collecting food, money, clothing for rescuers & victims; sending cards & letters to rescuers & victims/li>
  • Maintain daily routines.
  • Spend time with the child.
  • Allow the child to comfort you.
  • Be a good listener.