Managing Grief with Older Children
Our daughter was 2.5 when her sister April died. She's had a ton of grief that we've had to help her manage. On this page you'll find information on how she's been impacted by her grief, along with how we've helped her along the way, and useful resources.
I'll continue to update this page, as she's now 4.5 and still has grief that she works through on a daily basis. We all do, and our children deserve some special, focused attention to manage their grief.
Toddler Sleep Disruptions During a Family Crisis
After losing her sister April, our daughter Caroline was having a tough time getting to bed. She's had 45 consecutive nights of coming out, throwing fits, and simply not listening to any of the bedtime expectations that she's done her entire life.
Here's what we're doing and what has helped.
Sleep & Behavioral Disruptions- Making a Big Change to Get Back on Track
We are getting back on track. We made a big change and it is helping a lot with Caroline's behavior issues.
A Tree For April
This act of planting a memorial tree in April's honor, was INCREDIBLY healing for our 2.5 year old. I was so surprised.
2 Books to Help Your Child Get Through The Loss of a Baby
These books have been invaluable to us for managing Caroline's grief. She was 2.5 when her sister, April, died. These books helped her tremendously then and she really identified with them. At 4.5 years old she still asks to read these books.
They are both neutral and do not impose religious views. They are written with kids in mind, and both come recommended by a child life specialist at Hopkins.
Am I Going To Die On My Birthday?
3 months after April was born and died, Caroline was about to turn 3. She stunned me when she asked the question, "am I going to die tomorrow?" Our almost 3 year old was terrified that, since April had died on her birthday, she would too. It's so amazing how children's minds work.
"I Have a Sister. She's Dead."
"Are you having a little brother or a little sister?"
"Both. We already have April. She's dead. And next it's a little brother"
Parenting Through Grief is HARD
Our daughter is considered to be a highly sensitive child. This is a trait that has been identified and it puts her on sensory overload all the time. It has put her grief on overload as well. Managing our 5 year old's grief about her dead sister is ridiculously hard, and SO important.
Children’s Books Explaining The Loss of a Baby:
I did it! My project came to life and I created an entire book series written specifically for the termination for medical reasons community. These children’s books are near and dear to my heart. They walk families through what is going to happen using the correct language. You can find all of the books in the series at this link.