Parenting Press®Parenting Press home pageOnline Media Kit
25 Things to Do When Grandpa Passes Away,
Mom and Dad Get Divorced, or the Dog Dies

by Laurie Kanyer, M.A.
Lauri Kanyer

the Book
the Author
the Illustrator
Parenting Press

Feature story:
Kanyer Offers "First Aid for Your Soul"

Counselor Cites 5 Ways to Help Grieving Children

Media questions

Reviewer and reader comments

Order the book

Parenting Press home page

Media kits introduction

Book Cover

Looking for a sidebar?

Counselor Cites 5 Ways to Help Grieving Children

Accepting losses and grieving those losses is important for all of us. It's especially important for children. Laurie Kanyer's new book, 25 Things to Do When Grandpa Passes Away, Mom and Dad Get Divorced, or the Dog Dies, recognizes that there are many kinds of losses in our lives. It also acknowledges that the grieving process differs from one person to another. For children, physical activities can be a valuable way of accepting and working through a loss.

Kanyer says there are five essential ways to help grieving children:

  • Person-to-person connections. Because children see themselves through the eyes of other people, their mental picture of reality is shattered when someone dies or moves. They need affectionate physical interaction (such as hugs and quiet converstions) with those people who remain to create a new picture of reality.
  • Soothing repetitive activities. Repetitive motion--rocking, sand and water play, walking--replicates the natural heartbeat and the rhythm of breathing, allowing grief energy to move through the body at a regular pace and reduce tension.
  • Keepsakes and memorials. Creating something visual expands the child's capacity to think about and remember a loved one. Planning the ceremony--a funeral, perhaps, or the anniversary of a birthday--is as valuable as taking part in it.
  • Large muscle activities. Hitting people and throwing things are examples of how kids demonstrate grief with angry, aggressive behavior. An adult's job is to help kids find appropriate big-muscle activities such as gardening, drumming or throwing balls so that grief energy can be expressed safely.
  • Small muscle activities. Making something they can see, feel and touch that represents their memories and feelings gives children a sense of control and power. The process--drawing, working with clay, or beading an Indian "time ball"--is more important than the product.

For more suggestions of activities that can help children grieving a loss--a death, a divorce, a move--see 25 Things to Do When Grandpa Passes Away, Mom and Dad Get Divorced, or the Dog Dies.

For more information, contact the Parenting Press publicity department at (800) 992-6657, ext. 105 or (206) 364-2900, ext. 105, or email our Publicity Coordinator.