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Kids Crave Ritual: Part Three

Advice for Grandparents Advice for Parents Blog Post Children and Loss Dr Emily McClatchey How do we talk to children about death Kidolences Blog Kids Need Ritual Professional Help Talking to Children Understanding Death

Kids Crave Ritual: Part Three

In times of loss or change, rituals can be comforting to all of us, but especially for children. Yet it is precisely at times of loss and change that rituals are often abandoned—adults become too swamped with managing the accompanying chaos of change that they fail to attend to rituals that could bring peace and grounding. Indeed, rituals take time and forethought and energy, commodities that grow scarce during crisis. It can feel overwhelming to add “orchestrating a ritual” to your to-do’s in challenging times. But I encourage you, for the sake of your children, to consider it.

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Kids Crave Ritual: Part Two

Advice for Grandparents Advice for Parents Blog Post Children and Loss Dr Emily McClatchey How do we talk to children about death Kidolences Blog Kids Need Ritual Professional Help Talking to Children Understanding Death

Kids Crave Ritual: Part Two

Funerals are but one of many ceremonies our society has created to honor life’s passages. We don’t think twice about including our children in other important ceremonies, from birthdays to weddings to anniversaries. In many such celebratory events we even give children an important and central role to play. Why not funerals?

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Kids Crave Ritual: Part One

Advice for Grandparents Advice for Parents Blog Post Children and Loss Dr Emily McClatchey Kidolences Blog Kids Need Ritual Professional Help Talking to Children Understanding Death

Kids Crave Ritual: Part One

Headline events such as weddings and funerals create an obvious need for a ceremony, but there are plenty of other opportunities in children’s lives that call for rituals like moving to a new house, ending a school year, giving up a pacifier or becoming a big brother or sister.

As any parent can tell you, these times of change can be challenging, frustrating, confusing and sometimes even scary for kids (not to mention the adults who love them). Even when a change is due to a positive milestone or ultimately good for a child’s development, children may experience the change as a loss of what had been. This is because all of these events threaten the child’s status quo and can throw a family’s balance out of whack, making rituals especially important.

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Kids Feel Real Pain

Advice for Grandparents Advice for Parents Advice for sick children Blog Post Children and Loss Dr Emily McClatchey How do we talk to children about death Kidolences Blog Kids Need Ritual Professional Help Talking to Children Understanding Death

Kids Feel Real Pain

In times of stress for children, it is crucial to help them maintain healthy and adaptive coping strategies. At these times, you might notice an increase in aches, pains, and nebulous boo boos. Appetites may markedly change. Sleep habits can shift.  Stomachaches and headaches become more common. Children may act out aggression, anxiety, and sadness through their bodies. All of these symptoms are very real and should be treated as such; they are not simply ploys to garner attention.

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Kids Tell Their Stories

Advice for Grandparents Advice for Parents Blog Post Children and Loss Dr Emily McClatchey How do we talk to children about death Kidolences Blog Professional Help Talking to Children Understanding Death

Kids Tell Their Stories

Children are naturally drawn to stories and storytelling. Storytelling creates cohesion and fosters understanding. Allowing children the freedom to tell their stories gives them a sense of self-competence and confidence as they face challenges. By becoming authors of their own experience, children can regain a sense of control and understanding following loss. Journaling, drawing, creating and communicating with others about loss promotes healing from grief and honors the child’s relationship with that which has been lost.

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