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How to talk to children about the loss of loved ones in war: Zelenska has released advice from a psychologist

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Zelenska published psychologist's advice on how to tell a child about the loss of a loved one in the war

During the war, Ukrainians lost their normal lives, and some lost their loved ones forever. The hardest part is telling children about it. The wife of the President of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has published advice from psychologists for parents on how to do this to make it less traumatic.

As the first lady posted on Telegram, the "Barrier-Free Handbook" contains expert recommendations that will help adults explain everything to children correctly. The main thing is not to hide the truth and not to delay.

Do not describe how it happened

If someone close to you died suddenly, first inform them that this person has passed away and will never be with you again. If a loved one died of an illness, you should say that they were sick and the doctors did everything they could.

"If you tell your child what happened, he or she will trust you more, and this will help him or her to cope with the loss more easily", the psychologist advises.

The closest person should inform the child about the death

It is better to avoid candid conversations with your child by strangers. Let the person whom the child trusts the most and with whom he or she can share the grief inform them about the death.

Father and son.

Think about the conversation beforehand

It is better to inform your child about the bad news in a safe and quiet place. You should also plan what you are going to say in advance.

Ask your child to sit next to you

If the child is still young and has a favorite item, such as a toy they carry everywhere, the psychologist advises parents to have it with them during the conversation.

Speak slowly so the child has time to understand what is happening

It is also important to pause to maintain control over your emotions. You should say, "Although this person will no longer be in your life, their love will not disappear. You will always remember them".

Give your child time to process this information

Young children may react as if they are not listening to adults. Therefore, adults should be patient and wait for their attention. Be prepared for younger children to ask the same questions repeatedly, both during the conversation and in the days and weeks that follow.

If you decide to take your child to the funeral...

Be sure to explain to your child what will happen there. It is better to have someone there to take care of them during the event.

How to talk to children about the loss of loved ones in war: Zelenska has released advice from a psychologist

If you decide not to take your child to the funeral...

Then be sure to visit the grave of the deceased. The child should have the opportunity to say goodbye and see where the person is buried.

"You can bring something the child wants to leave as a gift, or simply talk. Let the child decide what they want to do", advises the psychologist.

Do not use the image of the deceased person to influence the child's behavior. For example, avoid saying, "Don't misbehave, because grandma is watching you".

Do not suppress memories of the deceased person

If the child asks about the deceased person, it's important not to suppress memories of them.

"Ask what they would like to say to the person who is no longer here. Remember pleasant, funny, and warm memories of the deceased", advises the expert.

Do not dismiss the child's feelings

The psychologist emphasizes the importance of accepting the child's emotions. These emotions should be discussed (sadness, grief) and the child should be assisted in expressing them (anger, aggression).

"Talking about the deceased person is often a way to help release pent-up emotions", summarizes the expert.

How to talk to children about the loss of loved ones in war: Zelenska has released advice from a psychologist

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How to talk to children about the loss of loved ones in war: Zelenska has released advice from a psychologist

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