Coping with Illness/Death

How to tell a child that a relative or friend is seriously ill or has died can be an excruciating task for parents. We work with families to find developmentally appropriate language that feels comfortable for them and to recognize what grieving typically looks like in children (it looks very different from grown ups). Unfortunately, we have had experience helping parents not only support their children when a pet, grandparent, or older relative has died, but also in tragic circumstances involving teachers, parents of classmates, and peers. Our goal is for parents to develop the tools and comfort they need to talk about illness and death with their children, as well as to manage the anxiety and difficult emotions – theirs and their child’s – that often accompany loss.