Grief is often overwhelming and can be hard to process no matter your age, which is why it’s natural to feel anxious and lost when trying to help your children heal after the death of a loved one.
You and your family aren’t alone in this struggle as, sadly, 1 in 20 Australian kids experience the death of their mum or dad before they turn 18*.
At Feel the Magic, our mission is to help families like yours heal, which is why we’re happy to provide you with these resources to help you and your child through your grief.
Supporting your child
The death of a parent can leave a child feeling isolated. It’s important as the remaining parent to comfort your child and always remind them that they are loved and cared for.
Providing comfort doesn’t mean you need to always be ‘strong’ – authentically expressing your emotions can help teach your child that it’s ok to be sad and talk about negative thoughts and feelings, and opens up opportunities for conversations about self-care, and positive coping strategies.
A great way to support your children is to validate their feelings. You can let them know it is normal to experience big emotions during grief, and ensure they feel listened to through your body language, tone of voice, and eye contact.
We know that not all adults are comfortable and experienced at talking openly about emotions. This is why we have a range of resources to help parents communicate with their grieving children. We also have resources to help with your own self-care, because looking after yourself is an important first step towards being the best support for your children that you can be.
Activities for staying connected
When living with grief, getting through each day can take up all your family’s energy, so it’s easy to lose connection with each other. This loss of connection can make the experience of grief even more difficult, so it’s important to put effort into maintaining and strengthening the connections between yourself and your child.
We recommend organising connection activities and have compiled a list of some of our favourites. Good connection activities provide a fun and safe environment in which your kids can connect both with you and the grief they feel for the loved one they lost. You can also use these activities as an opportunity to start conversations with your kids about what they are thinking and feeling.
When to reach out for support
No matter where you and your child are in your grief journey, reaching out for help is always ok. If you need immediate help or wish to learn more about other grief organisations that can offer you support, we have created a list of other organisations that exist to support people’s mental wellbeing and grief. You can also join our grief community if you wish to connect with other families who understand what you are going through.
At Feel the Magic, we are dedicated to helping grieving kids heal. We have virtual and face-to-face camps designed by psychologists and run by mental health professionals to give kids and parents the tools they need to connect with their emotions and each other.
Our programs encourage healthy grieving and introduce families to a supportive community that understands. For more information or to register your interest in our camps, please contact us.