Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Dealing with loss

Superficially good events such as starting school or the birth of a new sibling can leave children with a sense of loss. For example, many young children resent the loss of parental attention that follows the birth of a sibling. And starting nursery or school can undermine a sense of familiarity and security. A sense of loss at home can manifest itself at school. Children can become unsettled and insecure. Confidence may dwindle and they may cling to their carers. Hence, teachers need to find opportunities within the curriculum to deal with death and loss. They should also be aware of change and help children to express negative emotions appropriately. Reality is not all sweetness and light which gives permission for good and bad reaction. School can provide a sense of continuity that is lacking at home. Teachers can offer children a level of choice in the classroom which compensates for the loss of control elsewhere.

Here are a few steps on how to help children to cope with bereavement or loss of any kinds:

  • Allow for individual differences in reaction and the expression of feelings.
  • Do not expect children to react in a certain way to certain events.
  • Prrovide adequate information. For example, if a new sibling is due, acknowledge that there will be changes after the birth.
  • Be aware of the child’s needs and address any fears or anxieties.
  • Listen carefully, noticing charges in behaviour. Continue routine activities, providing a sense of stability.
  • Model behaviour for children. For example, an adult could say:” Sometimes I find it a real pain when the baby keeps crying .” This acknowledge that reality is not all good.
  • Read stories that deal with loss, such as a child losing a teddy bear.
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March 31, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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