How to Help Your Child Deal with Grief

SYLVIA McCRORY     MAY 2020

Video Transcript:

00:01
Hi this is Sylvia McCrory with Christian
00:04
parenting today and today I’m going to
00:07
talk about grief and how to help your
00:10
child deal with grief. Grief is something
00:14
that we’re all going to encounter in our
00:16
life in one form or another probably and
00:22
most people think about death but we’re
00:24
probably all going to experience the
00:26
death of a loved one and that’s one form
00:29
of grief children need to understand
00:33
that it’s normal. That the grieving
00:36
process is a normal process some people
00:40
have a lot of a lot more grief and a lot
00:44
more losses than other people. But we
00:46
need to help our children confront it. We
00:50
need to help our children be ready to
00:55
deal with it and we need to encourage
00:58
our children not to keep it bottled up.
01:00
Now grief comes in many forms. Before, I was
01:04
talking about death, but it could also
01:07
come in things like a terminal illness.
01:10
There’s a long process there with
01:14
that type of grief. It could come from
01:18
an injury if someone  is in a
01:24
car accident or injured some other way
01:29
or is disfigured. That is a huge loss for
01:35
young people today. They suffer a big
01:39
loss when there’s a breakup with a
01:42
boyfriend or a girlfriend. That is big
01:45
for kids today. It always has been but I
01:49
think it’s even more so today. Also if
01:53
there’s a divorce in the family that is
01:56
a big loss for children. No matter what
01:59
other people say, children will take that
02:04
loss and they will deal with it for
02:06
years and years to come. So you need to
02:10
be diligent. On top of that one
02:12
as
02:14
and then there is another type of loss
02:20
and that would be if children have to
02:23
move for some reason, whether it’s a
02:25
financial reason or if it’s a job or if
02:28
it’s a divorce. For whatever reason if
02:30
they have to move and they have to be
02:33
away from their friends then that is
02:36
another type of loss, so we need to help
02:39
our children deal with all this. We
02:41
need to let them know that it’s natural, 
02:43
that it’s good to grieve
02:48
because that’s the way that we’re going
02:50
to heal and the way we’re going to get
02:51
through. One of the things that
02:55
we need to do to encourage them is to always
02:59
turn to God and to turn to the Bible as
03:02
their security and their point of
03:06
reference when they’re dealing with this
03:08
We need to even be there with them if
03:12
they are grieving. We need to help them
03:16
along the way as they are dealing with
03:20
this process. I wanted to share a few
03:23
Bible verses with you. These are some a
03:27
lot of you know.  I would like
03:30
 to share just a few, just a handful.
03:32
There are others in the Bible.
03:35
First Corinthians chapter 15 verses 53 to
03:39
54. It says I declare to you, brothers
03:43
that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
03:46
kingdom of God nor does the perishable
03:48
inherit the imperishable. Listen I tell
03:53
you a mystery. We will not all sleep but
03:57
we will all be changed in the flesh in
04:01
the twinkling of an eye at the last
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trumpet for the trumpet will sound. The
04:10
dead will be raised imperishable and we
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will be changed. For the perishable must
04:17
clothe itself with the imperishable and
04:19
the mortal with immorality. When the
04:23
perishable has been clothed with the
04:25
imperishable and the
04:26
Mortal with the morality than the same
04:30
that is written will come true. Death has
04:34
been swallowed up in victory. And then
04:38
First Peter chapter five verse
04:41
seven: “Cast all your anxiety on him
04:44
because he cares for you.” I think
04:46
that probably should be a memory verse
04:49
and maybe even something that should be
04:53
in our homes so it can also
04:57
remind us. Because we go through some
04:59
tough times, Hebrews 13:5 – Never will I
05:04
leave you. Never will I forsake you .” John chapter 
05:09
16 verse 33 – “I have told you these things so
05:13
that in me you may have peace. In this
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world, you will have trouble, but take
05:19
heart I have overcome the world.” Isn’t
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that a wonderful,  wonderful promise?! We
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know God has ever taken the world that
05:28
he has conquered the world
05:30 In 
Isaiah chapter 41:10 – So do not fear for I am
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with you.
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Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I
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will strengthen you and help you. I will
05:42
uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
05:45
And then the last one is Psalm 27 verses
05:50
13 and 14 –  I am still confident of this. I
05:54
will see the goodness of the Lord in the
05:57
land of the living.
05:58
Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take
06:02
heart and wait for the Lord. Sometimes we
06:05
don’t know why things happen. I’m
06:07
reminded of several families that
06:11
throughout the years that seemed like
06:14
they have had more than their share of
06:17
tragedies and bad things happening to
06:21
them. We don’t know and we don’t understand
06:23
why these things happen. But we need to
06:26
know that God knows and God is the one
06:29
that will be there to comfort us. He’s
06:32
told us this world is not going to be
06:34
easy for Christians. So the more
06:38
we can help our children, the
06:40
better it is for them as they go through
06:43
life.With the
06:47
death of a pet let children grieve.
06:50
Encourage them to talk
06:53
about it. There are a few other things
06:57
 
06:59
that I want
07:03
to share. These are some warning signs about
07:05
dealing with grief.  07:08
These come from the book called Grief
07:12
and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of
07:14
Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by
07:17
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler.
07:21
Some  things that we need to be aware of.  I
07:25
get real concerned about young people that
07:31
don’t understand or don’t have the tools
07:35
that they need to deal with losses and
07:37
disappointments.  I get
07:40
really concerned when there are suicides
07:43
of young people. There are so many
07:45
young people that have anxiety and
07:48
depression. So some of the warning signs
07:51
that we need to look for include isolation. If they have become
07:56
isolated and withdrawn, if they no longer
07:59
want to be around their friends and if
08:02
they just are alone, that is a big
08:06
warning sign and we need to help them if
08:11
we cannot pull them out ourselves or with
08:14
their friends, then you know a counselor or 
08:18
someone who is a  professional person needs to talk to
08:21
them. This would be a great place to start.
08:24
Another warning sign is if someone is
08:28
trying to self-medicate. That can
08:31
come from many forms. The most common
08:35
forms of self medication is going to be
08:38
alcohol and drugs but it could come from
08:41
other forms.
08:43
Pornography’s one that
08:46
some people use. It could come with
08:49
people getting
08:52
 so we need to be
08:56
watching that they’re not
08:58
self-medicating to avoid just dealing
09:00
with the problem. And then another
09:04
warning sign is if there’s guilt, or if
09:10
someone is feeling the guilt because
09:13
maybe they have lost a friend or a
09:16
sibling but they’re healthy and they’re
09:19
fine, they may feel guilty because it
09:22
wasn’t them. We need to be aware and
09:25
we need to be in tune if it is something
09:28
going on there because they are probably
09:31
 blaming themselves. You need to
09:34
make sure that they understand that
09:37
things do happen and that they don’t
09:40
bring themselves to start
09:44
questioning God. That would probably be a
09:48
great time for them to have a
09:51
conversation with a pastor or with someone
09:55
that is at the church. Maybe you can deal
10:01
with that, but if not then we need to
10:04
take it to someone else that can help
10:06
them deal with that if they have
10:09
increased fear or worry, if there has
10:13
been maybe a diagnosis of someone in the
10:18
family that’s terminal or something.
10:21
then another child begins to worry
10:25
about everyone else, if something’s going
10:28
to happen to everyone else. We need to be
10:30
aware of that, as well we need to also be
10:34
aware if there’s fatigue or nausea and
10:37
then weight loss or weight gain. So how
10:41
can we help our children through this
10:44
and our young people through this. Well
10:46
of course the first thing and I’ve
10:48
already mentioned this is encourage them
10:50
to turn to God. The thing with
10:53
this is we need to teach them before these things happen
10:58
they need God. That you turn to God every
11:01
day for everything,  for those
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day in and day out things. If we start
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teaching our children at a young age
11:10
that God can handle anything that comes
11:13
along, then the harder that things become for them, 
11:16
 the more they realize
11:18
that God is there for them. So if we can
11:24
show them that so that they already have
11:27
that in their toolbox. If that’s already
11:30
something they can use, then that’s great.
11:33
We also need to let children know that
11:38
it takes time if it is a death. It’s
11:42
going to take a while if it’s a divorce.
11:45
It’s going to take a while.
11:47
It’s not something they can get over in a
11:48
few months. It could be two or three
11:50
years before they get over some of this.
11:52
Some things, they  are going to take with them
11:55
throughout their lives . At some point,  at
11:58
some stage or another,  we need to let
12:02
them know it’s okay. Don’t expect to be
12:06
great right away. And also we need to
12:13
help them to avoid bottling up their
12:16
emotions, that they can talk about their
12:21
emotions, they can have someone to 
12:27
help them through this– even if it is a
12:28
counselor, if it’s you, if it’s a
12:31
grandparent or someone else in the family,
12:34
or a friend. The more they talk about it,
12:38
the more they can deal with it in the
12:41
way that they see fit. You know one thing
12:44
that I’m grateful for and I have been very fortunate.
12:47
God has blessed me. I have not lost a
12:49
child, but one interview I heard was a
12:54
mother who had lost a child and she was
12:57
talking about how raw the pain was. 
13:00
Then she said  she didn’t want that
13:02
raw pain to go away because she was
13:06
afraid that that would take away the
13:08
memory. So you know that I’m not a
13:12
counselor, but it’s okay if that pain is
13:16
raw every minute of every day because
13:20
the person who died wouldn’t want us to
13:22
know God wants us to go on. God has more in
13:27
store for us. He has work for us to do,
13:31
so it’s okay for the pain not to be as bad.
13:35
there’s nothing wrong with that and
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that kind of goes back to the feeling
13:40
guilty. Some people feel guilty
13:43
about feeling good. They
13:45
think that they shouldn’t feel good. You
13:48
know, down the road after someone has
13:50
died, that that’s not right– but it’s okay.
13:54
It’s okay.
13:55
Once they confront their grief, it’s okay.
14:00
Another thing would be, if they can stay
14:03
active– whether it’s a church or  school. If
14:07
they have some community thing they can
14:09
do or some more they can do. Staying
14:12
active is a great thing. Now that’s not
14:14
to the point of avoiding dealing with it
14:17
but that is to the point of the being
14:21
active gets you to take your mind off of
14:26
your grief for a little while after you
14:28
have dealt with it. Another thing some
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people might want to do is join support
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groups.
14:33
Those are great. You can share your
14:38
feelings and share how you were doing
14:41
with other people and that’s probably
14:45
one of the greatest things. 
14:48
People are there that have the same
14:50
grief that you do and can share their
14:54
experiences for you or for your child. 
14:59
Another thing would be to maybe create a
15:03
journal or a diary just to write down
15:06
how you feel to get that out in in some
15:11
other form. And then another thing that
15:14
people like to do that help some people
15:18
is to create some type of memorial if 
15:21
there is a death. If there’s a move you know
15:26
bring something with you from an old
15:28
house
15:29
or something to remember that person. But
15:32
remember the the whole point of this, and
15:36
I’m not a grief counselor at all, and
15:38
like I said I am just sharing this
15:40
information to you, but the biggest thing
15:44
is that grief is going to happen to all
15:48
of us.
15:49
It will happen and it will happen to us
15:52
more than once in our  lifetimes, if
15:55
we live to be older. So our children need
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to understand that it is natural. It is
16:03
normal but we will get through it and
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that’s the big part. We will  get
16:09
through it by the grace of God. He will
16:12
see us through, no matter what tragedy
16:15
comes our way. Have a great day! This is
16:19
Sylvia McCrory with Christian Parenting
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Today. Thank you for joining us and
16:23
please click on the subscribe button.
16:25
Have a good day! Bye!
 

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