How do parents help their kids grieve? We lost my dad a few months ago, and our 11-year-old won’t express any feelings. He and I are the same, very high anxiety, very intuitive, store everything locked away, very empathic. Lately, he’s been so argumentative, won’t help out, and complains when asked to. He just wants to do only what he wants to. It’s so not like him. He’s usually so funny and outgoing, loves working outdoors on the farm, or lending a hand to anyone who needs one. We’ve tried talking to him, giving him others to talk to, he spends lots of time with his other grandpa… how do we help him?
Get him into counseling. All hospice centers offer it, even if you didn’t use their services.
Love is the answer. Just love on him and let him do his grief his way.
Oof, you can only be a shoulder… it’s the worst!
I lost my dad uncle and brother all in a space of 3 months just over 3years ago . I did counseling for my kids. Everyone grieves different.
I went through this 2 years ago with my 10 year old and the only advice I can offer is just let him grieve we all do in different ways be there when he needs someone to talk to it’s going to take some time but he will eventually come around
I know this may sound unorthodox, but do you have anything like a rageroom near where you live? Its a place where you pay to literally go and destroy things? Last year, before covid became big we had 5 in a short amount of time. Then covid hit and schools were all remote. My son is very much the same like you described yourself and your son. I took my son, just us two and we just destroyed shit. At first we didn’t talk about personal things but as we destroyed stuff I brought up topics and we let out some serious rage and emotion and cried at the same time. By the end of it… my son was cried out and all the anger he had pent up… was finally out. I do suggest learning from your son and discovering what he feels is best for grieving and guide him on different ways
Did you try talking to him? I know when I was younger and my aunt passed it took me awhile but I ended up going to counseling at school. My Aunt passed in may and I didn’t go until the follow year and when my brother passed it actually took me a little while also. Grief is so hard, we all handle it different, some think they could relate to you even if they lost someone close but they really can’t seeing we handle it differently. My husband says he never seen anyone in his life handle death so bad like me, he says I take it way to hard and it’s really not good for me at all. I would try to talk to him about his grandfather, look at pictures and talk about all the good times everyone had together with him also.
I lost my dad, who was the only male figure in my daughter’s life, in March. She also doesn’t express emotion and bottles everything up. Started acting out at school and home. Found that talking to her and telling her it’s okay to be sad and miss him, and that being mean to others wasn’t what he would want or the way to go. Also getting her back into a strict routine made a difference. My little girl is back to her loving, friendly, helpful self again. Good luck
I feel you on this. My ex father in law, who I was still very close to, died in a freak farming accident in May. That same week my daughter graduated high school and she had a bond with him like no other. 2 days after his funeral was my sons birthday. My son is really struggling though. We talk all the time about him and cry together. Any time he wants to go to the cemetery, we go. It’s just hard. All I can say is be there for her.
Everyone lives their grief in their own way, but if you have any concerns, the child grief specialist is the best option.
Grieving counselor will definitely help
My daughter lost her to cancer a few months ago. She thought that noone would be there to pick her up at school BC she thought something would happen to us. Give them lots of love and support them. When they are ready they will come talk to you. If it guess any worse then try a counsellor. Not to scare you or anything but sometimes you push them to talk to you or someone it it will push them away from you just speaking from experience from my daughter and I lost my mom when I was 14.
Most children are lead by example. If you’re saying that you are very similar, holding in emotions not talking ect, then he see that’s a normal behavior for grief. Talk to him, BE VULNERABLE, show him he is safe to express ANY feeling with you. Be patient, with him and with yourself. You cannot rush the healing process. Most of all do not dismiss his feelings, you are there t help validate his feelings. I would also look into counseling as there are probably repressed emotional issues.
I lost my dad 9 months ago my 5 year old took it the hardest stop eating and sleeping we show him pictures and play voice clips it’s not easy but it will get better hang In mama
Create a memorial space in your home and let him see you use it too. It doesn’t have to be big but an area dedicated to remembering your dad, somewhere with a little privacy, some pictures regular candle or flameless etc. You could even get a shadowbox with a little opening for letters to him, that will private and unread. Tell your son when it’s full or he feels ready you’ll burn them together to release them to your dad. Have everyone in the household use the area so he can see he’s not the only one who is struggling with the loss.
But above all, just be kind and patient. Idk if this is his first loss or not, but children have to be taught to grieve.
When my dad died my son was in Pre-K and I ended up making him a little keychain with some of my dads ashes because that’s what he wanted. He wanted to be able to carry him with him, and have his own private memorial item to talk to when he missed him.
You can also get him a therapist or into a kids grief group if you have any in your area.
I’m 37 and lost my dad 2 years ago. My son is 15 and my dad was the only dad he had. Being a woman grieving her father and trying to help her son grieve it can be so emotional and I have learned to just let him do what makes him happy and he has opened up more as time has gone on. Both him and I throw ourselves into video games and being alone when we are hurting so I do think allowing your son to have the space he needs to grieve his grandpa is the best course to take. Everyone grieves so differently. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad and I wish I had cliche words like it gets easier but I still cry missing my dad and it still feels like a gigantic hole in my heart. Just be kind to each other and know that the emotions will come in waves, and you’ll just have to ride them out as they come and go. Sending lots of love to your family
Honestly, this kind of explains how I reacted when my nan passed a fair few years ago. I know that my autism came into play there and I showed absolutely no emotion, no crying, nothing.
There’s a couple of great picture books - rabbityness and grandads Island.
Good place to start a conversation or just let him read, explore and interpret for himself.
Let him grieve the way he feels is right. Maybe let up on his chores and whatnot that way he isn’t using his grief to backlash or act out… Let him know that when he is ready to talk your ears are open… Gift him a journal, on the first page right him a little note… Saying this journal is for when you have a lot to say yet aren’t ready to get it out…something of that sorts. Remind him that you love him and it’s okay to be sad and upset. Everyone deals with death differently.
My daughter was 11 when my own dad passed away, a d she was extremely close to him. We ended up putting her I to therapy, and it helped tremendously. She is now almost 20yrs old, and is well on her way to studying gerontology in college. Therapy works.
We lost my father in law in January. My 7 year was very close with him. I have explained to think of all the fun times, made a picture collage of the 2 of them, and let her know it’s ok to talk to Grandpa if she needs to. I explained her is now watching over us to keep us safe. She still struggles some days, but that is ok. Let him talk about it when he needs to.
Given his age you may be attributing this to grief when he’s just hitting puberty and turning in to the arsehole that accompanies that.
I was 15 when my Nanna died. We had been very close, but because of her illness I hadn’t seen her for a few weeks, and didn’t go to her funeral as was on a band trip. I found it very hard to accept she’d really died, and it took me about six months to grieve for her. So I would say, give it time. If you live on a farm, perhaps plant a tree in memory and your little boy can maybe sit by the tree. Maybe talk to him and let him choose what type of tree to plant, or make a collage of photos. He’ll find a way in the end. With love xxx
My grandkids were very depressed and crying they were 9 and 11…very close to my Dad who passed…im on Long Island and theres a camp here called Camp Good Grief and it was a blessing for them…all the kids there lost a loved one…maybe theres someting like that by you where he can talk to other grieving kids…
If in the uk try reaching out to his school they may have counciling or therapy linked to them. Maybe try a memory day doing all the special things he loved doing with grandpa favourite foods places to visit writing a letter to him may give you insight into his thoughts emotions and feelings. You can’t force grief to be over but letting him know you’re there when ever he needs will open a door x
Maybe that is his way of grieving. Start a conversation about how you miss your dad and bring up memories that you two would have together with him and that might help your son connect with the feelings he doesn’t acknowledge
If you have one of his grandfather’s shirts make a pillow for your son. If his grandfather wasn’t a big man, say small enough that you could find a special shirt or jacket so your son could feel closer to him. Get pictures of him with and without your son and let him make a collage for his room…
Get them into therapy to start.
Everyone deals with loss in their own way. This may be his way to dealing with the stress and anger of it all. Let him know you’re there when and if he needs to talk. It may not be just the loss that is affecting his behavior. If it continues or becomes worse, maybe consider having him talk with a counselor or someone that can help him work through his feelings.
therapy will do wonders for him
What is grief if not love persevering.
See if his other grandfather will talk to him, since they spend time together
Experiencing this myself, I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone until I was ready maybe just give him some more space do things together but not necessarily saying if he wants to talk you can. I understood that but I didn’t want to it took me years to be able to explain what I was feeling because I didn’t understand what I was feeling at the time. I hope it doesn’t take him that long and wish y’all the best. Sorry for your loss
A properly trained grief counsellor may help.
Hold him and cuddle
You cannot grieve for someone else. We all grieve in our own way. He is just entering a difficult age, puberty brings heightened emotions anyway, without adding grief.
So, I’d just quietly be there for him, allow him to let it out.
It might take many months, but he will work through it.
Really the only thing that helps, someone who is grieving a loss is time. I know it’s frustrating but try not to push him too much. Let him know you love him and the door is open when and if he needs to talk.
My daughter was 13 when my daddy passed, was the day of funeral she fell apart as she wanted to see him. Im glad she did, i didnt force her, was her decision but all the emotions she had bottled up for a week came flooding out and really helped her let go of her emotions
He may all possibly be entering puberty
That could also explain attitude
Coupled with grief.
He may be really struggling
We are grieve differently and there is no set time or method for everyone! Sometimes a small event can happen that will trigger an unexpected reaction! Just be there when he is finally ready!
Maybe take him out from under the microscope. Everything looks bigger under there. He’s an 11 yr old learning how to deal with his feelings.
Try grief counseling
Me and my brothers and sisters lost our dad in 2017. Grieve is a really hard thing to deal with and it’s important to remember people grieve in different ways. It was the day before my 21st birthday and it’ll always be heartbreaking for me and the way it all happened. My little brother who is now 17 acted exactly like your son, it only came out this year that he’s suffering with depression from the loss of my dad. Since he’s been to the doctors he has been a lot better and has now landed his first job. I would say some of it is time. I would maybe take him on a few days out to places or somewhere that is an interest to him, you could even ask him if he would prefer to talk about it with someone. I know a lot of places to mindful classes I think this may really help him. Most importantly I think it’s about him knowing that you are there for him and give him time. I hope this helps and I’m sorry for your loss.x
He’s angry, and upset… this is him acting out over the loss… my 9 yr old acted the same until we talked with her
Counseling. My boys had to deal with death at young ages, 7 & 10 years old the first time, got them into counseling immediately. And that was 5 years ago. We’ve had a few more deaths since then, and we continued counseling.
Be there for him. Talk to him. Love him. Reassure him. Plus he’s at the age that he’s going through puberty and will be hormonal too.
I lost my mother 2 years ago and over the last 2 years it changed my children a lot, I was holding in my emotions for them and then realized maybe just maybe if I open up they will get better. Now every Saturday we discuss gramma and good memories and sometimes we all cry together and sometimes we laugh together but my eldest 11 got very close to her Gramster just before she passed away so it’s been the toughest on her. She has now started crying about the loss and talking to me whenever she needs even if it’s her waking me up at 3 am upset I cuddle her and tell her it’s going to be okay. I firmly believe that they can’t heal unless they see us healing and it’s now getting better. Hopefully this helps
I’m sorry for your loss and I’m sure it’s difficult for him but a lot of boys go through a stage like this when puberty starts which he’s at that age. I don’t have any advice for you other than stick it out, offer help when you can and hopefully he’ll be back to himself soon. Much like with anyone, he’ll change when he feels the need to and you can’t force it. Wishing you the best.
Give him time and let him know you are there for him and love him. If you have an old shirt of his grandpa’s maybe make it into a pillow so he can hug it when he’s sad. Just don’t push him too hard, he needs to grieve in his own way
See if there is a group for children who lost a loved one in ur area I lost my dad and my kids lost their grandpa not even 2 years ago very unexpected my youngest took it the hardest at 5 years old she started being different acting different I sought out a group for kids who lost a loved one and it helped out so much they meet with kids around the same age they talk the vent they do activities together they give u books about death and feelings and once a month they have a dinner together it was so helpful and my daughter has come a long way she now expresses her feelings isn’t closed off and more herself so if u can find something like that it will help I think this way was better then regular therapy cause this way they get to see that other kids have or are going through the same thing and can have other kids to talk to as well as family.
Maybe a framed pic of the 2 of them and just let him know you miss him too. Sometimes they need to just know it’s ok to cry and to miss ppl
My son went through this at 9 yrs old.my dad was his everything.we tried getting him help.he just wanted to go to heaven, thats a hard pill to swallow when his world was torn apart in one phone call.he will be 30 this month.he is now just excepted he needs help to create the loss. This is something the as a mom.u wish u could take the pain and hurt.my dad left us unexpectedly. I hope he finds peace.please reach out to us if needed.
Counseling. My daughter lost her dad when she was 8. It’s been 2 years she still goes. If he doesn’t like the first one, try another.
You can take him to therapy , and they cam teach him how to express his feelings without anger best of luck
There are books about grief for kids on Amazon
Have you asked him if there is anything special he wants to do to celebrate his grandad? Is there something special that was his that you can restore and give to him? Nothing replaces a grandpa. Ask him what he needs right now.
Give him time. My daughter (11) still has her moments about missing my mom who passed away 5 years ago. The grief just pops up out of nowhere like it does for everybody, but it’s gotten waaaaay better. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve.
I wish that I had gotten professional help for my son when this happened to us
My daughter had some guilt after my mom passed. My mom had asked her to stay the night and have a movie night but she had a sleepover planned with her cousins. So she told her she would go the next day and spend the day with her. Well the next day, my mom went in to the hospital and didn’t come out. She was also feeling angry but I didn’t know why until she finally told me. She let it all out and cried so hard. I had to explain to her that it wasn’t her fault and that she shouldn’t carry that guilt. It still bothers her from time to time but I’m sure it felt good letting it out.
Sounds like he is going through puberty ; I am sure grandpas death didn’t help; not sure what you can do…
Grandpa died at 14 and he was my very favorite person. My hero. It changed me forever. I lashed out a lot. The pain never goes away, it just starts to get better with time. I’m almost 30 and still miss him sometimes. What helped was getting together with family and telling each other happy stories about him.
It takes time. My daughter was 15 and was with my mom when she had a heart attack and died. We were out of state. Was the hardest thing we all dealt with.
You could take him aside have a talk about your dad? Get him to talk about special memories he has had with his grandfather and talk about times you remember with your dad. From before he was born and when he was growing up. Tell him it’s ok to miss his grandpa. Because you miss him too, but the best thing to do is to remember the good times you had with the loved one who is now gone. Getting him a diary of sorts to write down the memories or even do some drawings and put in pictures of them together would also be good.
Can you sit with him and talk about his Grandpa sand the good times with him. At the same time have pictures and a n album so you can post the pics and write in it what they are about. Talk and laugh and cry about the times and what was going on. Share the good times and the loss. Let him know you share his grief and loss but share the good memories. Kids don’t know how to face it on their own.
My daughter was 8 when she lost her grandma whom she was very close to. I had the school counselor talk to her and when she was feeling down she’d speak to the counselor. I think that helped
Hire a therapist. So worth it. Helped grandchild over a divorce. She was having panic attacks.
Also my daughter and I started a journal which continued thru college. When she felt down she’d write in the journal and put it under my pillow. I’d answer and write and put under her pillow. She expressed so many feelings in that journal. We usually did not talk about the contents in the journal we wrote our feelings down and it was special between her and I. Got us thru many teen moments and her missing her grandma.
My grandchildren lost their dad when they were 4, 8 and 14. Extremely hard, especially the youngest. Then add the covid virus to the mix.
Take him to see a professional. Or a clergyperson. Maybe he doesn’t want his emotions to upset you
He’s depressed. Let him do it the way he wants.
He’s also at that age when the hormones kick in and they all get a little grumpy
Everyone grieves differently. Let him go through it in his own way but tell him you are there if he needs you.
Defiantly counciling to learn new coping skills and have an unbiased person to talk to
Hi get him a professional in that field of losing a love one it takes time
Find a grief counselor for children asap
Let him have space it sounds like he is grieving his way
My Grandson went completely outta control when my husband (his Grandfather) past- as far as my Grandson was concerned, Greg had been the ‘authoritative’ figure in our family- & once he was gone, so was ANY ‘authority’- including the actual Authorities!! Grief can be overwhelming- BUT you have to set boundries & enforce them to what BEHAVIOR is acceptable- no matter HOW you’re feeling! If you don’t, you WILL require professional help. It took YEARS & too much time, money, & serious consequences to bring him back. Nip this in the bud now!! ~
It’s going to take time more then a few months
I think I would share my grief with him… as in, let him see you grieving (crying perhaps) and being empathetic he should ask what’s wrong and you can tell him and him might give him space to speak and open up as well.
It takes time… chill out