One of THE hardest things after my husband died was not only dealing with my grief, but watching my children try to grapple with theirs.
My youngest two kids were 4 and 6 years old; I had three coming-of-age boys (12, 14 and 16 years old) who needed their dad; a 17-year-old daughter who was her daddy’s girl through and through; and a just launched 19-year-old son.
I learned early on that children deal with loss differently.
Children grieve differently than adults.
Teens grieve differently than preschoolers.
Boys grieve differently than girls.
Even two kids the same age with the same loss can grieve differently because of personality, experience, their home environment or their relationship with the one who’s died.
Kids can suffer many kinds of loss – the death of a sibling, grandparent or parent; a chronic diagnosis for themselves or a family member; a devastating divorce; adoption loss; or even a move that takes them away from friends, school and the familiar.
As a parent navigating our kids through grief, discerning signs of our that grief can be difficult.