Helping Children Cope with a Loss in the Family
Purbasha was one of my dearest classmates during my post graduation period. She was popular for her charming smile. One fine day I saw her weeping. I asked her what happened. She replied she was missing her parents. I thought it was natural to miss them because we were all staying away from our parents. I suggested her to give them a phone call and talk to them so that she will feel good, but my expressions changed within a fraction of a second when she said she had lost both of them when she was 7 years old. I was spellbound. After that, I could not utter a word because it is quite difficult to console a person who doesn’t have a family. Slowly I saw many kinds of changes of mood in her which made me think for a whole day that what sort of girl she was actually. Later, I understood that it was the loss of her parents that made her like this. Still I would say she was lucky that her aunty kept her with them for the entire life.
A sudden death in the family affects every member in the family. Though, it is a difficult time for the whole family but children need to be thought in particular. The reactions of the children on such situations depend on many factors, such as: how close the dead person was to the child, whether the death of the person was a natural one or an accidental one, and above all what matters the most is the age of the children and their level of understanding. Infants are much sensitive to the unhappy feelings of those people that are around them. After they lose someone very dear to them, there are chances of them to become more anxious, in need of attention and difficult to settle. There are some signs which show that the child is not ready to accept the loss of the family member. They are as follows:
a. Incapable to sleep, a fear of being alone, loss of appetite
b. Mimicking the dead person most of the times
c. Less contacting the friends
D. Poor performance in school performance
E. Less interest in daily activities and a long period of depression
F. Talking repeatedly about the dead person.
It is quite natural for the people to be in a state of trauma for a long period when their close one die but it affects the children more. It is the prime duty of the adults then to console the children and help them to get back to their normal state of mind. When it comes to children and adolescents, parents or other adults in the family should also take the help of psychiatrist or child psychologists to help the children come out of it. In fact, many times, the general practitioner also offer help and advice for the further stages or if any treatment is required for them. Parents also pamper the children as much as they can in such situations.
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