Young Children Grieve Too: A Guide for Parents and Carers of Children Under 6 Who Have Been Bereaved
Barnardos. (2015). Young Children Grieve Too: A Guide for Parents and Carers of Children Under 6 Who Have Been Bereaved. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/244
This booklet explores some of the issues for children under the age of 6 when someone dies. It offers advice to parents and carers of children and to those who are supporting families through this difficult time. Death is an inevitable part of life and grief is a universal human process. We cannot shield young children from the reality of death or the pain of loss. What we can do is accompany them on their journey through grief with informed support, information and encouragement. Children’s understanding of death depends on their age and stage of development. They experience the pain of loss as intensely as adults but they will express it in different ways. Because of their emotional and intellectual immaturity, young children do not have the thinking ability to make sense of death. They may also not have the words to describe their feelings, thoughts and memories so it will be their behaviour that will guide you as to how they are feeling. Adults instinctively want to shield or protect children from death. You can’t fix or reverse what has happened but you can do your best to help children through the reality of this difficult time in an honest and open manner.