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How to Help a Child Cope after a Wrongful Death

Posted by David Nemeroff | Jul 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Coping with a wrongful death is difficult for anyone. For one thing, a wrongful death is not expected; you cannot prepare for it. Wrongful deaths hit people differently but it is imperative that, when children are involved, the situation is handled with tact and care. Children are like sponges, soaking up every memory, molding the person they will become. Dealing with a wrongful death as an adult is traumatic, life-altering experience. Dealing with it as a child can be just as excruciating, even not more. Here are a few tips to help a child cope after a loss due to wrongful death.

4) Support Group

Allowing the child to go to a support group that's main focus is to help children similar in age grieve with a loss may be extremely beneficial. Talking to children who have experienced something similar may help the child feel less alone.

3) Therapy

While a support group is a great way for children to relate/grieve with others, therapy is a great way for the child to work out their emotions with someone who is trained to help them cope. This is a great way for children to really work out their feelings in a safe place.

2) Talk to their friends/teachers/counselors

If a child is old enough to go to school, they spend the majority of their day there. Because of this, having an appropriate amount of support from their school friends, teachers, and counselors will help the child find acceptance. Constant support will let the child know that they are not alone, and people care.

1) Talk to them

While you may going through your own grieving period, make sure to watch the children who are involved for signs of despair, sadness, and withdrawal. If children feel unsafe or scared, it may be hard for them to open up. No matter how difficult: talk to them! It doesn't necessarily have to be about the wrongful death incident. Just forming a open-communication relationship will help the child share when they feel comfortable doing so. It's important to remember that:

  • Everyone grieves differently - There is no time table. Every grieving period is different. Work with the child to find what works best for them. If they don't like talking about the incident, don't force them. They will come to you when they are ready.
  • Children may try to ignore their pain - Everyone is subject to this mistake. Just because the child seems to be playing similarly to before the incident, does not mean everything is okay.
  • Children may try to be strong - This often happens when a father/mother figure passes due to a wrongful death. A child may feel like they need to be strong for their siblings, or for the surrounding adults. Kids are kids. Let them know they are allowed to be honest about what they feel.
  • Healing takes time - As mentioned prior, grieving periods have no specific time period. Healing takes time. Even when you think the child has come to terms with the incident, continue to have an open line of communication.

Knowing how to handle a wrongful death accident is never something someone wants to do, or believes they will have to prepare for. Coping with a wrongful death may make regular life seem impossible for you. A child's experience is often similar.

If you or your family have been affected by a wrongful death, you deserve to get the legal help you deserve. Please do not hesitate to call our Chicago Wrongful Death Attorneys at Nemeroff Law Office for a free, confidential consultation. Call now: 312-629-8800 or complete our online contact form.

About the Author

David Nemeroff

In January 2012, David Nemeroff was voted one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the entire state of Illinois (out of 83,000 lawyers) by Super Lawyers Magazine...

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