Naomi holds "Talk About" sessions for BSB parents on the first Monday of each month to discuss many different types of issues affecting children. Her next session of Talk About is Monday 6th January at 1.30pm. Please email Naomi here if you would like to attend.
Loss in the Holiday Season
by Naomi Taylor
With the holiday season just around the corner and festivities in abundance, sometimes it is important to stop and consider how this can also be a challenging time for children and young people who have suffered a loss in their life. Loss is something that touches each of us; whether it be the loss of a loved one, a family break-up, moving home and/or country, a pet that is no longer around, a change in schools…each hold their own special place.
The triggers can be unavoidable. The taste of a favourite dish, the smell of crisp fresh air, the sound of a friends voice….whether we choose to travel back to our home countries or stay in Beijing over the Christmas period these reminders surround and memories can so quickly flood back.
The way we experience grief is individual to each of us and what is displayed may vary from person to person. Some children/young people will openly express their hurt, others will not. Some signs of grief may be: spending time away from others; irritability; schools grades slipping; loss of interest in usual activities; feeling confused; heavy sadness; change in sleep and diet.
What is important is to talk to your child or teen. Encourage them to express themselves and allow them to do this without asking too many questions. Do not tell them that everything will be fine, as they simply are not feeling fine. Validate their feelings and let them know what they are experiencing is normal, painful…though normal. Let them know that you are there to listen to them, not to judge them.
If you know that the holidays will present as a difficult time, then plan ahead for this. Share openly about the pain that may be experienced. This may be talking about the anniversary of the loss of a loved one; sharing how meeting with family and friends over the holidays and then having to say goodbye again can be difficult for you too (this allows them to know that you also feel some of how they do); asking if they have any ideas on how they would like to remember someone during the holidays.
Being creative can also be useful. This may take the form of writing in a journal; making a memory jar or box and filling it with photos, tokens, anything important that your son or daughter connects to the person; planting a tree; creating a bag/box of fears – a place to store away notes or items that represent something scary.
If you want to discuss this further then please contact me at:
or drop in on the first day back – Talk About, Monday January 6th, 2014. 13:30-15:00