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Wollongong City Council

Helping Children Deal with Loss

Helping a child who has lost a loved one can be hard, especially when you're grieving too.

Depending on the child's age, they might not understand what is happening, or what they should do.

Here are some things that may help you support a child who is dealing with loss:

  • Be honest and open. Answer any questions they have. Remember, children take their cues from those around them. If you talk about and show your feelings, they'll feel it's ok to do that too.
  • Reassure them. It can be unsettling and scary having someone you love disappear. Offer cuddles and spend time with them to assure them you're there. Try to maintain their normal routine as much as you can.
  • Involve them. Let them go to the funeral or memorial service if they want to. It may also help if they can make a contribution, like placing a drawing, note or their own bunch of flowers at the service, or at their loved one's memorial afterwards.
  • Talk to other people who care for them. This could be their teachers, childcare workers, coaches, or other family or friends. Make sure they know that the child is grieving so they can help support them.

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 is also available 24 hours a day, and may be helpful for older children who need some extra support.