Being thoughtful about the little things can mean a lot.
Be mindful of special days such as anniversaries, birthdays and mothers or fathers day.
Be aware of changes in behaviour, keep a clear link with home. Remember that everyone reacts differently. For younger children this can seem like ‘jumping in and out puddles’ (analogy used by Winston’s Wish) sometimes the child can be upset about what has happened then suddenly they are talking about that afternoon's activity.
Do not over compensate with too much special attention as this can make the child or young person feel different and create jealousy.
Be aware that bereaved pupils can be bullied at school often because their peers do not know what to say. PHSE lessons could be one way of breaking down the taboo around death.
Give the child or young person the choice about joining in with projects/activities for example a child who has lost his/her father may still want to join in with father’s day activities such as making a card. Being offered to join in with fun activities is ok too.
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Children we help
Beth aged 14 years came to a group programme after her dad had died suddenly and unexpectedly. She was having difficulty concentrating at school and felt that it was hard for others to understand how she was feeling. Her relationship with her dad hadn't always been easy and she was struggling with her guilt. At the group she met other young people who had experienced the death of someone significant to them. They shared their coping strategies with Beth. She began to realise that others had a similar mix of feelings as well as good and not so good memories. She felt less alone in her grief and found a new supportive network of friends.