Using journaling to help bereaved children

Encountering the death of a loved one for the first time can be an upsetting, confusing time for children.

While they may naturally dip in and out of their grief, children can find it difficult to put their thoughts and feelings into words. Grief journaling can give them a simple, creative outlet to express, explore, and reflect on their feelings.  

Child Bereavement UK recommend writing as a way to express your grief. Encourage children to write and draw what they are feeling. They don’t have to share what they are working on, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Taking the time to focus on what they are feeling, and to find a way to express it is what is important.

Making opportunities to remember the person who has died can be an important step in helping children to understand and cope with their grief. The NHS suggest creating a memory box, talking, revisiting places or doing activities you did together with the person who has passed away, journaling or blogging. If your child isn’t ready to talk yet, or finds it difficult to express themselves verbally, putting their thoughts and feelings down on paper may help. If they feel comfortable, they may find sharing their journal can help start conversations about the person they have lost, or about their feelings and grief.

As part of our continued mission to create a happier, healthier society, together with Happiful Kids and Happiful Magazine, we have created a series of free childhood bereavement resources. Discover our full range of new, free bereavement resources on our Childhood Bereavement page, or check out our grief journaling resources for parents and children.

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Bonnie Evie Gifford

Written by Bonnie Evie Gifford

Bonnie Evie Gifford is a Senior Writer at Happiful.

Written by Bonnie Evie Gifford

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