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Support for Parents

“FiG has given my children the support and confidence to speak without sadness and that they know that there are other children who have lost a loved one.  For me, it was a relief to know that how I was feeling or not feeling was normal, to be listening to others later in their journey will give me hope that things will be okay”. Sarah, from Bideford, whose partner died.

Supporting your child when someone close to them has died can be one of the hardest things you have to do as a parent.  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 important.

Children cope best with bereavement when they have events explained to them honestly, in language appropriate to their age and with understanding. You may need help or support to do this. Your child will also need support following the news.

Bereavement as a teen can be particularly difficult; it is a time in their life when emotions are often already feeling out of control, and the desire to fit in with friends and peers can make the feelings of isolation and ‘being different’ especially hard to cope with.

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.

It is likely that when your child has been bereaved, you are also struggling to cope with the same death.

Remember that you need to look after yourself as well as your child, and do seek help from us if you need it – you are your child’s most precious resource.  You will need to grieve and think about the death too – in fact, sometimes the best way to help a child to grieve is to model it ourselves. This can all sound quite daunting and so please do contact us if you need a bit of support or advice.

We can offer you support in the following ways:

Support over the phone

We will listen to you tell us about your child and your situation. Together we will come up with the best plan for support. During the calls we sometimes suggest and send you relevant resources or signpost you to other services that can also help.

Support at Home or School

We can visit you and your children at home or occasionally at school to listen to you further and to offer resources, strategies and where relevant do practical activities with your children.

Children’s Group – A support group for both you and your child

You can join our support group for parents with your children aged 5-11. You will be in one room with the other parents or carers, whilst your child/children are taking part in creative or physical activities in a room nearby. We understand that by bringing together families in similar situations helps to lessen their feelings of isolation. You may even make new friends!

During the group sessions you will find out about the activities your child is doing in the next door room, and you will be asked to take part in a similar activity. You will also discuss as a group how your children have behaved during the time between sessions, and learn strategies to help them, as well as how to answer questions that might come up following the sessions. It is also your chance to talk about your grief if you want to.

The parents group is a welcoming place, and it’s normal to feel a bit nervous the first time you’re there, but many of our groups have continued to meet up long after the group ends, and many tell us how much better they feel as a family after attending.

We can reassure you that your child will be really well looked after by our amazing staff and volunteers.

Teens in Grief – A support group for both you and your teenager or secondary school aged child

You can join our support group for parents with your teenager/s or secondary school aged children aged 12-18. You will be in one room with the other parents, whilst your child/children are in a room nearby. During the group sessions you will find out about the activities your child is doing in the next door room, and you will be asked to take part in a similar activity.

You will discuss as a group how your children have behaved during the time between sessions, learn strategies to help them, as well as how to answer questions that might come up following the sessions. It is also your chance to talk about your grief if you want to.

The parents’ group is a welcoming place. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous the first time you’re there, but many of our groups have continued to meet up long after the group ends, and many tell us how much better they feel as a family after attending.

We can reassure you that your child will be really well looked after by our amazing staff and volunteers.

We have a free downloadable booklet especially for parents of children that have experienced the death of a parent, relative or friend. It’s really easy to read and has some good ideas about how you can help your child as well as yourself. It’s split into two sections, the first section is about helping young children and the second section is about helping older children.  You may like to look at it by clicking here  {LINK TO DOWNLOADBALE BOOKLET}