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How does Grief affect children?

Like some adults, children may find it hard to talk about difficult things too.

Unlike adults, even if they do want to express themselves, they may not know how.

They will rely on the adults in their life to help them and show them how to do this.

Grief can produce complicated feelings that some children don’t yet have the vocabulary to name or describe.

Following the loss of their sibling or siblings children may experience:

* Anxiety *

e.g. difficulty leaving a parent or becoming overly anxious about everyday tasks

* Sadness *

Becoming quiet and withdrawn

* Avoidance *

May avoid things that remind them about death, including topics or conversations

* Impaired ability to concentrate or focus *

This may be as a result of their grief and/or specific anxieties

* Extreme tiredness *

* Anger or acting out difficult behaviour *

* Sleep difficulties *

*Fears, nightmares or vivid dreams * (especially if there has been confusion about what happened or how the baby/ babies died)

* Guilt *

Especially if they connect something they said or did with the loss of the baby or babies.

* Physical complaints *

Distress is often expressed physically (Tummy ache, headache) but sometimes complaints may mirror those of the baby that died.

These reactions are a natural and normal part of grief and are usually temporary.

If the child has a supportive family they may only need a little extra help and understanding from the school. adults and people around them.

As parents are grieving themselves, they might be less able to support their child and so the school might need to provide additional help for the family.

It is really important to keep in touch with the school, nursery or childcare provider to ensure that they have a gentle understanding.

Bereavement support in schools can be very good.

The roles that schools play in supporting a child or children following a death of a baby can be a huge help to the child. Some schools may have counsellors within the setting and others may offer signposting and resources.

Please remember that we are here and will work as a liaison between yourselves and the school if that would be helpful.

Sending Love & Understanding from Oscar's Wish Foundation 💙💗

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