Support for children
“I talked about my Dad to my friends at school, and showed them the memory box I’d made” Sam, aged 6, whose Dad died. “Sam is more confident to go to school now and things are calmer at home since going to the FiG group” Sam’s Mum, Barnstaple.
If you are reading this then you are probably a parent of a young child who has experienced the death of someone close to them. Our natural instinct is to protect our children from difficult things, and we may feel that we want to shield them from the reality of what has happened. However, telling your child the truth about how the person died, in a way that they understand, is really hard but really important. Supporting your child when someone close to them has died can be one of the hardest things you have to do as a parent.
All children and young people need information, reassurance, and to know that they can trust you. Be open to their questions, and offer reassurance and support when needed. This can be daunting and difficult to navigate and so do please remember to contact us here at Families in Grief if you need extra support.
We offer the following support to young children:
- Phone support for parents/carers of young children, including sending out relevant resources or signposting to other services that could help your child.
- Visits at home or school to meet your child and their family, to offer resources, strategies and where relevant do practical activities with them.
- Attending a support group lasting six weekly sessions for children aged 5-11 called the ‘Children’s Group’ Parents attend with their children, and have their own support group which runs alongside the group for children.
The ‘Children’s Group’ programme is made up of creative and physical activities to help your child come to terms with the death of their parent, relative or friend. Each week the child is encouraged to take part in creative activities, they are also read a story to help them to understand the weekly topic. The programme looks like this:
Week 1: Beginnings
Week 2: Memories
Week 3: Memories
Week 4: Emotions
Week 5: Rituals/ Celebrating Special Days
Week 6: Saying Goodbye
The children often look forward to coming to the sessions and enjoy showing their parents what they have made each week once the session ends. We find that this in turn really helps to improve family relationships because it encourages more conversations between family members about the person that’s died. We can reassure you that your child will be really well looked after by our amazing staff and volunteers.
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