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Tips for helping grieving children through Christmas


Ok, Christmas is here. Although there is a lot of pressure “to be happy “during these holidays, for those who have lost a loved one, the first holiday without that person, is a tough time. families have mentioned that, the hardest part to deal with, seems to be the anticipation, the run up, more than the day itself. It is not unusual to want to even “cancel ‘Christmas. When you have kids it’s impossible to avoid the fact that TV, social media, and every shop, are insisting on “the season to be jolly”. Let’s face it. With kids at home, you just can’t avoid Christmas!

Parenting a grieving child during our own time of grief can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Answering hundreds of questions about death is heart breaking!

Let’s get it clear, handling the holiday isn’t a matter of eliminating the pain but rather, how we manage the pain we feel. Christmas season can be confusing for kids. They will be coping with their own grief, as well as trying to understand yours. They will have mixed feelings. On one hand, they might feel sad, and on the other, happy, even feeling some childlike excitement regarding Santa. To feel “happy” may lead to feelings of guilt and shame. They might even feel the need to protect you.

So, let’s see if I can give you a few tips to help you help your kids through this season.

1.Talk to your child about the person who died.

2.Decide as a family how you want to mark Christmas

3.Contact. Appropriate hugs and kisses are great ways to stay connected

4.Clown around. Children process their feelings, they grief through behavior and play


Finally, remember always…

  • Try to preserve the child’s role as a child.
  • Family is the center of the child’s world. They need stability the need you know that their parents are there to protect them. Be close, the way you can, but be close, so your children do not feel abandoned.


Hope it helps!!!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas

Ines Estrada Vigil

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