While most if not all of us admit that a traumatic event affects a child equally as it does an adult, why then do they seem to cope better than adults? We adults are supposed to possess the wisdom and experience that provides the ability to endure hardship. Is it because we have our time and attention divided? We may be seeing to the needs of family members, friends, or your mate, which takes away from the attention we also need. As most children mourn intermittently not chronically, does this relate to their resilient nature or ability?
Some define resiliency as the ability to bounce back from a traumatic event in their life while others see it as the ability to put their grief aside and return to their previous structured activities in life, whether school, play, or other expressions of ‘normalcy’ so called. Now, this is not always the case. There have been reports of children; especially older, adolescent age who did not ‘bounce back’ after a significant traumatic event in their life occurred. It was noticed by the parent strong negative behaviors displayed by them. Let us not take for granted our expectation of our child or be oblivious to our child during this life crisis period of adjustment.
Parents do need to be aware of their children during times of mourning of their children’s behavior. Look for signs of departure from previous behaviors that you have identified as ‘normal.’ If you see dramatic changes, or even subtle changes, talk to your child about them. I know this is difficult as you yourself are dealing with your own grief. Yet, as the parent, and the leader of your children by example, you need to share how you are feeling with them, because I assure you they have noticed changes in you. Reassure them what is acceptable appropriate behavior during this time. This is Sunrise.