Those coping with divorce or loss of a loved one commonly experience stress. It is typical to wonder how to deal with the loss of support. Especially when children are affected, adults might wonder how they will be able to handle raising happy, healthy children and manage other responsibilities.
Although loss can lead to emotions people would love to discuss, they may think they need to suppress their feelings. Often, the cause of this is adults feel they have to be strong for their children. However, communicating is the most important factor in being able to heal together. First, it is important to create an environment where children feel comfortable asking questions. By being open to communication, it will allow children to feel that they can be more expressive themselves. Adults can also work together to find solutions to stress or anger.
Discussing loss allows for a way to constructively deal with emotions as opposed to letting negative emotions escalate. If a child acts out, one must approach the situation carefully. While discouraging the behavior is necessary, one should try to find the cause of the behavior. If the child is acting out because of the loss, it is important to understand this factor. To help modify behavior in the future, the child and parent can brainstorm ways to handle emotions in a constructive manner.
There are ways that the loss of the loved one can be discussed positively. One way is to ask children what they remember or enjoyed doing most with the loved one. For example, if they took the child(ren) to a certain place to spend time together. Adults can contribute and benefit from this conversation by sharing stories as well. This can lead to plans together that remind you and the child(ren) of the loved one.