How to support children after a bereavement
Children do not always grieve like adults. They may not show emotions for periods of time or at all because they do not want to burden anyone. They might "act up" or act younger than they are.
Involve the child in what is happening when appropriate. If a child is not given any information they may imagine worse things. You know them best and can decide how best to talk to them.
Children sometimes feel guilty that they have caused the death of the person, either by thinking about it or being "naughty". It is important to let the child know they are not to blame and it is ok to express their feelings. Explain what will happen, for example, at the funeral, so they can be prepared.
Give them the option of going to the funeral and of when they go back to school. Speak with the school and let them know what your child wants to do about, for example, telling the other children what has happened or having a quiet space for "timeouts".
To find out more information about what children may understand about death at different ages, please click here.
Further bereavement support for children
The Market Place
Support children and young people in Leeds.
Telephone: 0113 246 1659 | Website: https://www.themarketplace.org.uk/
Child Bereavement UK Leeds
Bereavement support for children and young people in Leeds up to 18 years. Can support children with special educational needs (SEND). They can also provide pre-bereavement support.
Telephone: 0113 350 3598 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OWLS Bereavement Service
OWLS offer bereavement support to children aged 4-11. 1-1 support is available as well as support through schools and family support.
Sad Events Team
Offer support to bereaved children and young people in Leeds.
Telephone: 0113 395 1042 / 395 1100 | Email: email@example.com
Leeds based website for children and young people to access, has information on general mental health and wellbeing and bereavement.
A national website aimed at supporting bereaved children and young people with information and advice. They have a national helpline.Telephone: 08088 020 021 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: https://www.winstonswish.org/
Child Bereavement UK
A national charity which provides information and support for bereaved children and young people. They have a national helpline and a website containing information and resources.Telephone: 0800 02 888 40 | Email: email@example.com Website: https://childbereavementuk.org/
A national website aimed at supporting bereaved children and young people. They have a national helpline.Telephone: 020 8371 8455 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://www.griefencounter.org.uk/
Books and Resources for children
For suggestions of books for children and young people about death and grief which you may find helpful, click here.
Child Bereavement UK have an app for children who have been bereaved containing information and stories from other bereaved children. There is also an app called Nelson's Journey, written by a Norfolk based child bereavement charity, which contains information, resources and frequently asked questions. Both are available on the App Store and Google Play, click on the links above to the websites. Lilies app is a safe way of talking to other bereaved children, sharing memories and grief tips. It was created by children and is being supported by Winston’s Wish. It is available on the App Store.