Grief is a normal reaction following a demise of a loved one. It can show itself in various ways. Grief moves from one stage to another, such as disbelief, rejection, acceptance, and healing. Just like adults, kids also grieve when the people they love die. They also re-grieve depending on the age they are in. Children still have memories of the people who died, which keeps reappearing every time. The aspects of this approach to helping children grieve are significant and can be related to the concept I examined in this course. The aspect is related to attachment, relationships, and the development of young children. Children are attached to their parents or caregivers at a tender age.
Children have a close attachment to their parents, especially mothers (Clarke-Stewart, &Parke, 2014). Thus when one parent passes away, they experience a more significant level of sorrow. Therefore, losing any of the parents can be challenging for the children. When children lose their families, they grieve; helping them heal is crucial to help them move on. One way of assisting children in grieving is by allowing them to let out the pain instead of letting it remain inside. Children are permitted to express themselves, helping them to let out their feelings. It can be achieved by children in a similar situation talking to each other and having someone listen to them. With time and emotional care from individuals, children are frequently able to adjust to the passing of a parent and grow new attachments to other individuals in their lives. Thus, death affects the kid’s attachment.
Children mourning the loss of a loved one are, according to attachment theory, at risk of lasting emotional problems since they are unable to overcome their sense of loss. For instance, a child can become depressed, anxious, and withdrawn. It is related to the concept we learned in the course that children who go through difficult things when they are young might not be able to relate well with others or even stay in a relationship when they become adults. The relationship becomes hard for them, and they are unable to keep it (Høeg et al., 2018). The age phase of development of kids during their parent’s demise deeply sways how they respond to the loss. An early passing of a parent impacts children’s development, and kids’ development influences how they will mourn and re-establish their relationship with the departed parent.
Researchers study children’s reactions to death, loss, grief, and coping by looking for fear, worry, and tense reactions. They become angry very quickly, aggressive, or even kick doors. Some kids could even fear falling asleep because they don’t want to pass away like their loved ones. A child may be okay one minute, and the child is not talking to anyone the next. It has been discovered that children grieve differently compared to adults, particularly those who are little. They do not concentrate on suffering for an extended period and view it as physical (Goldstein, 2015). The insight from across developmental psychology and new research can be applied to help children handle stressful moments or things in a better manner and even be able to move on after going through a hard time.
Clarke-Stewart, A &Parke, R. (2014). Social Development. Wiley
Goldstein, J. (2015). About the Farm Upstate. This. American Life. Retrieved from https://www.thisamericanlife.org/557/birds-bees
Høeg, B. L., Johansen, C., Christensen, J., Frederiksen, K., Dalton, S. O., Dyregrov, A., … & Bidstrup, P. E. (2018). Early parental loss and intimate relationships in adulthood: A nationwide study. Developmental Psychology, 54(5), 963.