Children face new challenges every day as they get older. Something like the end of a teenage romance or losing a loved one can alter a young person’s mood. As a parent, you want to create a space where your child can safely deal with life’s significant changes. By providing support in their time of need, you can learn how to help children cope with life-changing events in a positive way.
Allow Personal Space
If your child has encountered a troubling situation, they might isolate themselves from friends and family. It’s normal for kids to be sad after fighting with a friend or breaking up with a partner in their teenage years. Moving to a new location can also disrupt your child’s life, leading to more feelings of isolation.
Give your child some personal space if they want it. Allowing your child to put some distance between themselves and others provides an opportunity for reflection. But watch out for troubling signs, including extreme changes in behavior where isolation might be dangerous.
Be an Active Listener
When your child starts asking questions about a particular event, become an active listener. It might be difficult for a child to explain their concerns at first. Try to reaffirm that your child’s feelings are valid and stay patient with them. If your child feels like you understand their point of view, they’re likely to open up even more.
Keep Responses Age-Appropriate
Try to keep your child’s age in mind when discussing a sensitive subject matter, such as death. Deaths are difficult for even many adults to process, especially the passing of close family and friends. Your child might have several questions about the death of a loved one.
Depending on your child’s age, a detailed explanation about cremation or burial might not be the best option. Instead, explain the processes in simple terms. Acknowledge your child’s uneasiness and let them know it’s OK to be curious or even frightened.
Children face numerous challenges during adolescence. As a parent or guardian, you can help children cope with life-changing events by offering consistent and age-appropriate support.