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Children and Grief/Loss - Parents Guide to Helping

Watching children go through the stages of grief can be one of the hardest things in the world. If you feel helpless watching a child grieve, however, things don't have to stay that way. You can help the child develop coping skills. You can also seek therapy for him or her.

Identifying the Five Stages of Grief

Children are just like all other human beings. They grieve after they experience traumatic and life-changing circumstances of all kinds. If you learn how to identify the natural stages of grief, you may be able to help a mourning child in a much more effective and healthy manner.

1. Denial is the first stage. If a child seems unable to acknowledge or understand that something distressing has taken place, he or she may be in denial. This is a coping mechanism that can help many people get past hard situations.

2. Anger typically follows the denial stage. Once denial begins to go away, healing commences. This is precisely when all of the difficult emotions the child was concealing rear their ugly heads.