What do I say to a grieving child?


Like adults, children will react to the news of death individually, perhaps with unexpected responses. The child may say, “it’s not true” or lash out physically or verbally. Wanting to be left alone or being curious and full of questions may be more common for some children than sadness.

When helping children deal with their grief, it is probably most important to remember these three simple rules:

  • Be honest in what you say
  • Be open with your own emotions
  • Always be patient

Children deserve clear and honest answers to their questions, especially the difficult ones. They also deserve the adults around them to be open with them concerning their own grief.

Often cuddles, hugs and some quiet time together will satisfy a child who is feeling frightened or unsure about the changes happening in the family however children still require as much time to adjust to grief as adults do.

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