Sunday November 13, 2016
According to the Child Bereavement Network, 1 in 20 children have lost a parent or sibling. That's about one child per class.
You can't stop tragedies happening. What you can do is learn how to best help the young people going through the unimaginable. In particular, you can make time to listen, the theme of this year's Children's Grief Awareness Week.
This is what the Child Bereavement Network suggests:
- All too often, bereaved children feel as if no-one understands what they are going through
- They need their families, friends, teachers and communities to listen carefully to them, helping them feel understood and supported
- Even if they haven’t got words to describe how they are feeling or thinking, family and friends can ‘listen’ to their body language and behaviour
- A young person might not want to talk right now, but it’s helpful for them to know someone is there to listen when they are ready
- Parents and carers shouldn’t have to cope alone. Family, friends, colleagues, schools and the government all have a part to play in listening to grieving children
- Specialist support services should be available in all local areas for all grieving children and their families that need them – wherever they live and however they have been bereaved – helping them realise someone is listening
- #MakeTime2Listen this Children’s Grief Awareness Week and throughout the year
You might find this NHS Education for Scotland video on how to talk to bereaved children useful too.
Based on personal experiences, this is our advice to schools when it comes to dealing with a newly bereaved child or student. We think every school should have a copy for when the inevitable happens. It costs just £10.99 with free p+p if you order by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include your personal details plus a purchase order number. All royalties go to Nicky's Way in Suffolk.
Thank you for listening.