Growing up I had all of these. Trapped grief. And now as an adult it just overshadows everything that my Mama blocks me. And the world seems to want me to live with it and be happy? WTH?
Signs a Child Is Grieving
When an adult grieves, it seems to be ever-present, even in moments of happiness. Children, however, often seem fine one moment, only to become very upset the next, because their brains can’t seem to tolerate the sadness for a long period of time.
In the early stages of grief, it’s normal for children to be in a bit of denial that their loved one is gone. They may continue to expect the person who has passed away to show up at any moment. This is normal for a while, but over time, the reality of the loss should begin to sink in, especially with older children.
Whether your child has lost a pet, teacher, neighbor, or family member, here are some other things you might see after the loss:
- Clinginess: Your child may be extra clingyafter a loss. He may cry about having to go to school or he might ask for help for tasks he previously mastered just to get your attention. Infants and toddlers can sense the distress in their caregivers, so they might respond by being irritable, crying more, and wanting to be held even if they aren’t aware of the loss.
- Developmental regression: Toddlers and preschoolers may start wetting the bed or stop sleeping through the night. A small child might revert to crawling, baby talk, or want to drink from a bottle again.
- Academic issues: Older children and teenagers who have experienced loss often show grief by falling behind in studies or failing classes that they once aced.
- Sleeping problems: Grief-stricken children might want to sleep with parents or others close to them, or they could have nightmares or dreams about the person who died.
- Difficulty concentrating: A child might not be able to focus on any particular activity or have trouble making decisions.
- Anxiety: Both children and teens start to worry about everything, but particularly about other people in their life dying. They will need reassurance, particularly preschoolers, that they will be safe and looked after on a daily basis.