What reactions do children display when grieving?
Children, like adults are deeply affected by loss and grief experiences, and whilst everyone grieves differently there are common responses or grief reactions that children may display. These reactions will be varied and may reflect age, developmental stage, cultural background, previous experience of loss and available support.
A broad range of feelings, thoughts and behaviours can be experienced by the person who is grieving and include:
- Physical symptoms
- Feelings and thoughts
- Behavioural responses
Following loss, children experience these same full range of physical symptoms and emotions as adults, but their process of thinking, understanding, and ways of expressing these feelings is very different.
In an article “Signs of Grief in Children and How to Help Them Cope” on theverywellfamily.com website, Amy Morin, a psychotherapist, discusses how children grieve differently to adults and the grief reactions that manifest in children.
The illustrations below depict some of the many children’s grief reactions. Click here to read more about each of these grief reactions.