Babies are upset, too – The New York Times

Pandemic & # 39; coronavirus & # 39; has taken over a quarter of a million people, many from mothers, fathers, uncles, uncles and grandmothers – to adults who have left distressed children. Too many children will lose their loved ones in the coming months. Here are instructions on how to talk to children from diseases and deaths, and how to support them when they wish to die.

It can be difficult to know how much to share with children now. We want to prepare for what may happen, but we do not want to be afraid of them. However, if a family member or friend becomes seriously ill, it is best to be honest about what is going on, even if you do not know exactly what is happening, according to Joseph Primo, chief executive officer Good Sleep, a New Jersey-based charitable organization that helps children deal with loss and sadness. It is a good idea, for example, to tell your children that their grandmother has coronavirus and although many people try to help her, no one will know that she will get better.

This sincerity may conflict with your sense of protection, but when we share our feelings and vulnerabilities, it enables our children to talk about their concerns, and our honesty builds their trust, Primo said.

If a loved one dies, it's best to avoid hate, Primo said. If you tell the children that the grandmother has just slept or gone somewhere else, they can continue to believe that the grandmother will return or eventually wake up, and will not let them know what happened. "When we try to protect children by drinking things and giving them real information, they end up building a more frightening story indeed," Primo said.

Dr. Goodman says it's best to tell your children that your grandmother is dead, and then make sure you understand what death means. Uheh told them, "When you die, you will not return, that your body will no longer function," she said. It can help to distinguish what it means to live and to die – to mean that living people can watch TV, brush their teeth, eat and sleep, but that dead people cannot.

Children under 5 may not be able to understand the presence of death. They may continue to ask when the grandmother comes back. That's normal and age-appropriate; just remind them that he is dead and will not return. Dr. Mohamed Goodman said: "It does not mean that they are avoiding, denying, misunderstanding, because that is their progress in what they understand," said Dr.

It is also normal for children to worry that they have caused the death of a loved one, Dr. Kennedy-Moore says. "The idea that bad things can happen & # 39; because just & # 39; is scary," she said. "At some level, it's painful – but a little scary – to think they've done something to cause it." To ease your child's brain, Primo recommends preventing thoughts or telling them they are wrong. By doing so it doesn't change their mind – it just makes them feel like they can't talk to you, he said.

Primo suggested that parents work with the idea and ask the child why they feel a sense of responsibility. You want to "explore the idea, give it the right perspective, and give them space and time to process it," he says. Near the child's thinking is that it has been allowed to live a bit longer – and spreading to understand, & # 39; oh, no, that's not me, this is not how it works. & # 39; "

It is important to give your children a chance to talk about death if they want to – and to help them slowly understand what happened and why. Dr. Judith Cohen, MD, a child and adolescent psychologist at Drexel University Medical School and medical director of the Allegheny General Hospital Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma in Pittsburgh, witnessed the sudden death of her sister when she was 6, and since then no one has consulted her. "I believe strongly that when a parent does not talk about it, children develop beliefs bad about what they would do, what to do, and why it happened. This can be very difficult, if not damaged, degraded, their understanding of themselves and the world around them, she said.

A funeral is not possible for many families right now, so it is good to come up with other ways to remember and remember the deceased. (If the funeral is going to happen, you may still need to give your child the option of home) – Not all children like to attend the funeral, and it is okay, says Dr. Goodman.) You might plant a tree outside to remember them, bake their favorite bread, watch their favorite movie or make a special photo album.

Remember, too, that grief does not follow the timeline. American culture expects people to mourn quickly – to cry at the funeral and then to feel a sense of "closure" and move on – but those expectations are not particularly healthy or appropriate. "Ultimately, the purpose of mourning and commemoration is to foster a lasting sense of connection with the deceased," Primo said, meaning "we can remember and remember as much as we want."

Children often grieve differently than adults – and with other schedules. They may get upset for a few minutes, and then they seem to be in good shape, and after a few hours they will be sad again. "They're sad, but they don't keep their feelings for ever," Dr. Cohen says. Also, kids can't mourn all that after losing a relative they rarely saw, and that's okay. This does not mean that they do not like it.

If you feel that your child is doing things to avoid dealing with their grief – refusing to talk about a grandparent or a memory – "therapy can help," Dr. Cohen said. Contact your doctor, pediatrician or grief counselor for advice.

Finally, take advantage of sad children & # 39; iideysan can follow some common home, Dr. Goodman said. This can be difficult during the tragedy and especially after the death of a loved one – nothing will feel normal at the time – but the system gives children a sense of control and assures that everything will go well. He told her that although things are very complicated right now, life is getting better.