top of page

When Children Grieve

For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce,

Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses


FOREWORD - "The first of its kind, When Children Grieve teaches parents how to initiate in their children lifelong, healthy response patterns to grief and to empower them with effective methods for dealing with loss.

There are many life experiences that can produce feelings of grief in a child - everything from the death of a relative to a divorce to everyday experiences such as moving to a new neighborhood or losing a prized possession.  No matter what the reason or the degree of severity, if a child you love is grieving, the guidelines examined in this thoughtful book can make a difference.  For example:

  • Listen with your heart, not your head.  Allow all emotions to be expressed without judgement, criticism, or analysis.

  • Recognize that grief is emotional, not it intellectual.  Avoid the trap of asking your child what is wrong, because he or she will automatically say "nothing".

  • Adults - you go first.  Telling the truth about your own grief will make your child feel safe about opening up, too.

  • Remember that each of your children is unique and each has a unique relationship to the loss event.

  • Be patient.  Don't force them to talk.

  • Never say "Don't feel sad" or "Don't feel scared."  Sadness and fear, the two most normal feelings attached to loss of any kind, are essential to being human". 

(Foreword xv - ©2001 When Children Grieve by John W. James & Russell Friedman with Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews).

bottom of page