Losing someone or something you care about is a natural, but uncomfortable, part of life. Adults know to expect experiences of loss and have developed skills to cope when loss, and the accompanying feelings of grief, occurs. Young children have not developed these coping skills and are typically very confused and scared when they are faced with a loss. Most preschoolers do not have the vocabulary to express their feelings or fears or to ask the questions they would like to have answered. Helping a child navigate the rough terrain of grief and loss is difficult for all adults. Knowing what to say and how much information to give are often difficult decisions that adults must make during a time when they may also be affected by the loss.
The tip sheets were created by the Promoting Healthy Social Behaviors team around topics requested by child care programs and by situations that the behavior specialists encountered across the state. The content was developed by combining a review of the literature on children's grief experiences and the specialists' knowledge of the developmental stages and social-emotional needs of preschoolers.
The tip sheets were developed for use with parents and early care and education professionals served by your CCR&R. Please feel free to distribute them and to include them in your newsletters.
We hope you will find these tip sheets informative and useful.
You can access the tip sheets here.