15 Tips For Supporting Your Child Through Grief And Loss

When a child experiences the loss of a loved one, it’s important for parents and caregivers to know how to help. Grief can be experienced in many different ways, and it’s not always easy to know what to do. 

Here are 15 tips on supporting your child through grief and loss:

Helping Your Grieving Children
Supporting a child through grief can be challenging, but it’s important to be there for them and provide a supportive environment.
Talking to your child about death and grief can be difficult, but it’s essential to help them understand and process their emotions.
Grieving with children requires a different approach than grieving alone. It’s important to be patient, compassionate, and offer support.
Helping your child cope with the loss of a loved one takes time, but there are practical ways you can offer comfort and support during this difficult time.
Understanding how children process loss is essential to helping them navigate their grief journey. Be there for them, listen to their feelings, and offer guidance and support.

Ask How They Are Doing

Asking how your child is doing is a great way to be curious and supportive. However, it’s important not to let your own feelings get in the way of truly listening to their answer. 

Instead of asking questions that elicit specific answers (e.g., “How are you?”), ask open-ended questions (e.g., “I’m wondering how things are going for you.”) 

By asking open-ended questions, you allow them space not only to tell their story, but also express any emotions they may be feeling around the loss or death of someone close to them. 

Open-ended questions also help to build empathy between parent and child; understanding what grief feels like allows both parties involved an opportunity for growth through mutual understanding and supportiveness.

Supporting a child through grief and loss can be a challenging experience for any parent. Our guide for parents offers helpful tips and strategies to navigate this difficult time.” – Supporting Children Through Grief: A Guide for Parents

Give Them Space To Grieve

Grieving is an individual process. Allow your child to take the time they need to grieve, and don’t push them to move on. 

They may want to talk about their feelings or they may not; listen when they are ready and encourage them when they are not. 

Don’t try so hard that you start feeling like a failure because your child is still hurting after several weeks have passed since the loss occurred.

When it comes time for schoolwork, don’t rush your child into finishing assignments that have been delayed by their grief it’s better if they wait until they are ready than if they’re forced in order to keep up with their peers’ progressions. 

If someone asks how you are doing at work or with other responsibilities (like housekeeping), tell them honestly that you’re having trouble right now because of the death of someone important in your life; people may want suggestions for how best to help but ultimately it’s up to each person involved (you) as how best this can happen on an individual basis.”

1Allow your child to express their feelings and emotions
2Avoid interrupting or silencing your child during conversations about grief
3Respect your child’s need for solitude
4Give your child time to process the news of loss in their own way
5Understand that your child may not want to talk about their grief all the time

Listen Without Judgment

Give your child space to express emotions, thoughts and feelings. Remember that grieving children will often feel guilty for being happy when their parent is not. The last thing they need is to have their mother tell them how sad she is that her husband died and then turn around and say “But I’m really glad you’re home from school.”

Don’t try to solve their problems for them, or fix things for them. It’s tempting when you are trying so hard to help your child through this difficult time in their life, but it’s important not to take over the discussion with suggestions or ideas on how something could be done differently next time. Instead, listen patiently while they process information before offering advice or help in any way.

Don’t tell them it will all be okay if you don’t believe it yourself–and don’t lie! Be honest with yourself about how much progress has been made during this period of grief management; if there are still many hurdles ahead then try not rush into making promises (even if they seem harmless) because this might cause disappointment later down the road when none of those promises were kept due to unforeseen circumstances outside anyone’s control (like medical bills).

Talking to your child about death and grief can be daunting, but it’s an important conversation to have. Our guide offers practical advice to help you approach this difficult topic with sensitivity and understanding.” – How to Talk to Your Child About Death and Grief

Offer Your Support And Help Wherever You Can

Here are a few ways you can offer your child support:

Listen without judgment. Your child may feel as if he or she has no one to talk to about their feelings, which can be isolating and overwhelming for them. 

Being there for your child in a time of grief means offering yourself up as someone who will listen without judging their situation or telling them what they should do next.

Help out around the house—and beyond! When we’re feeling sad, sometimes doing chores can help us feel like we’re getting back into our routine and contributing again, even when it seems impossible at first (especially if we haven’t had much time lately). 

Offer to work on cleaning projects together or helping with homework or school projects so that your kids know they’re not alone in their experiences right now either!

Help Your Child Remember Their Loved One

  • If your child has a favorite photo of the deceased, show it to them and ask them to tell you about that moment in their life.
  • Ask your child to share memories they have of their loved one. What was fun? What did they like to do together? Did they ever get mad at each other? Why was there tension between them sometimes?
  • Help your child find photos or videos of the time when both of you were happy with each other. It will help him/her remember these good times in life.

Grieving with children requires a different approach than grieving alone. Our guide provides useful information to help parents navigate their child’s grief journey and offer support along the way.” – Grieving With Children: A Parent’s Guide

Understand Your Child’s Grieving Style

One thing to keep in mind as you support your child is that grieving is different for everyone. Some people are more emotional, some are more practical, and others may grieve in groups or alone. Some people grieve in stages while others do it all at once.

In order to help your child through this process, it’s important to understand their individual grieving style as well as how they prefer to be supported.

Be Honest About The Situation

It’s important to be honest with your child about the situation and don’t sugarcoat it. Don’t lie about what happened, how you feel or what you are doing to help. 

Instead of saying things like “mommy will be fine soon,” say something more realistic like “Mommy is sad right now and I want to make sure she gets help from people who know how to handle these kinds of situations.”

1Explain the situation in clear and age-appropriate language
2Answer any questions your child may have honestly
3Let your child know it’s okay to feel a mix of emotions
4Offer comfort and support when they are upset
5Reassure them that you will be there for them throughout the grieving process

Stay Patient With Yourself And Your Child

Don’t try to be a therapist.

Be patient with yourself and your child. As you’re learning how to support him or her through grief and loss, remember that you are not an expert. 

The most important thing is simply being there for them in whatever way feels right for both of you, which might mean spending time together in silence or talking about the person who died. 

It’s also okay if they don’t want to talk about what’s going on at all your child may need time alone or with their friends right now instead of talking with family members who can’t fully understand what they’re going through.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is challenging for everyone, especially children. Our guide outlines practical ways to help your child cope with grief and find comfort during this difficult time.” – 10 Ways to Help Your Child Cope With the Loss of a Loved One

Create A Safe Space For Your Child To Grieve

As you can imagine, the pain of losing a loved one is difficult to comprehend for anyone. For young kids, who don’t have all of the coping tools that adults do, it’s even harder. So how can we help them cope?

The first step is creating an environment where your child feels safe enough to express their grief and begin processing it in healthy ways. In order for this environment to be created, there are certain things that you’ll need to do:

  • Be supportive
  • Be patient
  • Be honest (but not brutal) about how you feel about what has happened
  • Understand that there may be some emotional triggers along the way – but don’t let them overwhelm you!
1Let your child know that it’s okay to cry and be upset
2Provide a comforting environment, such as soft lighting, pillows, or blankets
3Play soothing music or provide calming activities to help them relax
4Consider seeking professional assistance or therapy if necessary
5Check in with your child regularly to see how they’re doing and show them that you care

Show Up For Them When You Say You Will

Showing up for your child is one of the best things you can do to support them through their grief.

Make sure you are clear about your availability, and be flexible with your time. It’s important to try and be consistent with your schedule and plan ahead if possible. Don’t cancel on them last minute, or at the last minute (unless there is an exception).

Helping kids understand and process loss is essential to their emotional wellbeing. Our guide provides helpful tips and strategies for parents to help their children navigate the complex emotions of grief and loss.” – Helping Kids Understand and Process Loss

Give Children The Time And Space They Need To Work Through Their Emotions

One of the most important things you can do is to give your child time and space to work through their emotions. As a parent, it’s natural for you to want to help your child by telling them what they should do or how they should feel. 

However, telling your child “don’t cry” or “I know how much you miss them” may actually make things worse. When children are in distress, it can be hard for them to listen to adults who tell them what is right and wrong, especially when those adults don’t have direct experience with death and loss themselves. 

Additionally, some survivors of loss find it helpful after time has passed for others around them who knew loved ones well enough so that no words are necessary; other survivors find comfort in talking about their feelings with friends or family members who know what happened without pressuring anyone else into sharing experiences which may be too painful yet still require processing (e.g., “How did this happen?”).

Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Professional Support If Needed

Part of the process of accepting and supporting your child through grief and loss is letting them know they don’t have to face it alone. 

It’s okay to ask for help, even if you feel like you’re being a burden or inconveniencing people in your life. If you need help, ask for it. 

If a friend or family member asks how they can support you, tell them what would make a difference in your life right now. 

It may mean talking with other parents who are going through similar experiences at their children’s school; it may mean reaching out to others outside of your immediate circle; or it could mean communicating with professionals trained in grief counseling or therapy.

Take Care Of Yourself, Too

In addition to taking care of your child, don’t forget to take care of yourself. You can’t help anyone else if you’re not well. If your child is struggling with grief and loss, it’s especially important for you to be able to provide emotional support and comfort.

It’s not uncommon for parents of grieving children to feel overwhelmed by their own emotions as well as those of their children. 

It can be difficult at times not only knowing how best to support your child through this difficult time, but also figuring out what resources might be available in order for them both (the parent and the child) cope better with their grief or loss. 

It may be helpful at times during this process if both parents seek professional support from a therapist or counselor who specializes in working with families dealing with such issues – especially since many therapists are parents themselves! 

Remember though: don’t wait until someone tells you that they need help before seeking out resources yourself! 

There are plenty out there who specialize specifically in supporting families experiencing major life events like death or divorce; however some states base eligibility requirements off income level so make sure first whether they’ll accept yours before signing up!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years working within the mental health system it’s definitely this: everyone needs someone else sometimes.”


Above all, the most important thing to remember is that your child is grieving. They need your love and support to get through this difficult time, so make sure you are there for them. 

You might not be able to take away their pain completely but you can help them work through it in healthy ways. 

And if things get too overwhelming, seek professional help (like a therapist) who can provide additional support during this difficult time.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

Talking to Kids About Death – A guide for parents on how to talk to their children about death and grief.

Ways to Help Kids Deal With the Loss of a Loved One – An article that provides practical tips for parents on how to support their children through the grieving process.


What is grief?

Grief is a natural response to loss. It is a complex and multifaceted emotional experience that can manifest in a variety of ways.

What are the stages of grief?

The stages of grief are a common framework used to describe the emotional journey that individuals typically go through after experiencing a loss. These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

How can I support my child through grief?

There are many ways you can support your child through grief, such as listening to their feelings, answering their questions, and helping them find ways to cope with their emotions.

Is it normal to grieve differently than others?

Yes, everyone grieves differently, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. It’s important to allow yourself and others to process their emotions in their own way and on their own timeline.

When should I seek professional help for grief?

If you or someone you love is struggling to cope with grief and it is interfering with daily life, it may be time to seek professional help. Some signs that it may be time to seek help include prolonged feelings of hopelessness, persistent guilt or self-blame, and difficulty carrying out daily activities.