Grief and a child reaction to a parent dating
A child and adolescent psychiatrist or other qualified mental health professional can help the child accept the death and assist the others in helping the child through the mourning process.
By Linda Foster Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD If your partner has died, you know what deep grief is, what it’s like to be truly alone.
However, long-term denial of the death or avoidance of grief can be emotionally unhealthy and can later lead to more severe problems.
A child who is frightened about attending a funeral should not be forced to go; however, honoring or remembering the person in some way, such as lighting a candle, saying a prayer, making a scrapbook, reviewing photographs, or telling a story may be helpful.
Children should be allowed to express feelings about their loss and grief in their own way.
Once children accept the death, they are likely to display their feelings of sadness on and off over a long period of time, and often at unexpected moments.
The surviving relatives should spend as much time as possible with the child, making it clear that the child has permission to show his or her feelings openly or freely.
The person who has died was essential to the stability of the child's world, and anger is a natural reaction.
Adding to a child's shock and confusion at the death of a brother, sister, or parent is the unavailability of other family members, who may be so shaken by grief that they are not able to cope with the normal responsibility of childcare.Talk with them and understand their feelings first.In younger children, behavior changes can indicate feelings that you, as a parent, need to explore with them; you may want to consider family counseling to help you and your child handle the strong feelings that may arise.You think that the void he or she left could never be filled. The very idea of starting a new relationship can be scary and fraught with feelings of guilt. Wouldn't the loved one you grieve for want you to find happiness in a new relationship when you're ready?Getting Through Grief and Moving On Ben Brewer, Psy D, a psychotherapist in Denver who specializes in grief and loss, says there is no universal answer to the question, When is the “right” time to begin a new relationship after the death of a partner?
It can be a confusing and difficult process for a child at any age to accept a parent moving on.