8 Practical ways to help kids who have lost a loved one
1. Build Faith:
Tell your kids Bible stories about people who either lost loved ones or were trapped in very difficult circumstances. Show them how God healed and delivered them. Build their faith!
2. Talk About Death:
Death is God's enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:26) Grieving kids need to know that. Teach them about how death originated so they don’t think it was their fault that someone they loved died. Then tell them about the resurrection!
Teach children how to pray and, if old enough, how to journal their prayers. A child may resist the idea of praying because he/she is mad at God. Don’t let that discourage you. Pray and speak blessings over your child and allow them to be silent. Ultimately kids will sense the peace and comfort of God as you pray, and their hope in Him will return.
Cultivate a lifestyle of praise and thanksgiving by practicing this with your kids. Start by playing worship music at home. Season your speech with thanksgiving and children will begin to do the same.
Affirm grieving children by recognizing their special talents and giftings. They need to know they are valuable. They need to know they have an important future.
When a child’s parent or sibling dies, there is often an uncomfortable silence in the home. Feelings are not expressed. Healing happens as the surviving parent(s) re-engage in the spiritual development of the child. Grieving kids need you to break the ice so that they are not left wondering what your silence might mean. Kids can carry around tremendous guilt and self-hate unless you re-engage with them, console them, and walk through your mutual sorrow together. “God loves you. I love you.” These are critically important words for a grieving child to hear from you.
7. Memorize Scripture:
Memorize Scripture with grieving kids. The Word of God, planted in their hearts, will bear good fruit! (Mark 4:14-20)
8. Talk about Heaven:
Teach on heaven. Be specific. There is wonderful detail in the Bible about our glorious, eternal future. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21: 4