HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The Full Circle Grief Center is offering advice to parents on how to help their children process grief in the wake of Lucia Bremer’s death.
Allyson England Drake, the founder and executive director of the Full Circle Grief Center, says this loss and grief for children is a time for parents to listen and be there for their kids.
“I think it’s really smart for us to say to our children, ‘What do you need from me right now?’” said Drake. “Being there and listening and validating their feelings saying, ‘I’m hearing you.’”
Drake says every child grieves differently and could experience these common reactions.
“In a situation like this, maybe they feel a little jittery or their heart is beating faster. It’s a little jumpy,” she said. “Then, you know having the trouble concentrating, maybe crying, maybe angry outbursts.”
Drake says parents should reach out to their pediatrician or a mental health specialist if they start to see long-term changes in their child’s behavior.
“Maybe they’re oversleeping, sleeping a lot, or they’re not sleeping at all,” Drake said. “They are not eating. They are isolating from their friends. They’re not talking to their friends. They are not wanting to go to school.”
Drake says parents should keep their children’s routines the same, be open to conversations about their loss, and reassure their kids that they’re doing all they can to keep them safe.
“It’s important to model appropriate behavior for your kids and emotions and also letting them know it’s our job to take care of them and be there and support them,” she said. “We have to tell them that we do everything we can to keep them safe. The schools do everything to keep them safe.”
The Full Circle Grief Center has a list of resources on their website for parents to use to help their children process their grief.
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