Category Archives: grief and children

New Mothers and Counseling in Franklin Lakes and Bergen County, NJ

Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers a question about being a new parent.

Q – I am new to the area and don’t know anyone. I have a six month-old little girl and I feel like I am going crazy. Any suggestions? L.R. in Oakland

A – Get out of the house – even with your child! Find a parent group in your community. Many churches, temples, libraries, or meetup.com have “Mommy and Me” or similar programs where you can go to socialize. Many are geared towards new moms.

New moms need to feel comfortable and motivated to take control of their new roles in life. Becoming a mother is a growth process. It takes time to add this role to your identity and all women struggle with it in a variety of ways. Isolation does not help the adjustment. People need support and comfort from others experiencing the same life cycles.

 

mommy workout

Explaining Death to Children – Bergen County

Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers questions about children and grief and bereavement.

Preschool children cannot understand that death is permanent and non-reversible; therefore, they do not see death the way teens and adults do. When someone they know dies, young children do not always express grief through tears, so we can miss the signs that they are grieving. The way we handle the death of a loved one teaches our children a lot about life.

Morrisa asks her readers how they have explained death to their children.

Don’t say the deceased is “sleeping” – this makes the children afraid to go to sleep at night. Don’t say that sickness caused death. Children may remember this and associate all sickness with death. Allow the children to, at least, attend the funeral home. If they don’t get to say goodbye, they may always feel that the deceased person left them. Above all, be simple but honest in answering the questions. Allow them to grieve, and let them know that you have feelings of sadness and loneliness, too.
– Sara Clutter, Washington PA

My three-year-old daughter attended the funeral and pre-funeral functions when her great-grandmother died. We answered all her questions in terms she could understand and without fear. I feel her participation was the key.
– Linda Von Fumetti, Des Moines, IA

Flowers were sent to me after the death of my sister. Each day I had my 2 ½ year old daughter help me pick the wilted flowers from the arrangement. I explained to her how all living things eventually die. The wilted flowers were dead, so they were taken away. We could still look at and enjoy the living flowers. I waited until she asked me about her aunt then reminded her about the flowers. We couldn’t see or smell the flowers anymore, nor could we hug or play with Auntie, but we could always remember how much we loved her.
– Laurel Merrifield, Franklin, NH

I explained to my four-year old daughter that life was similar to a book: It must have a beginning and an ending even when we wish it could continue.
– Vickie Trent-Wilson, Cedar Falls, IA

The staff at the Mars & Venus Counseling Center is here to help when you need us.  Please call.

 

 

grief and kids

Ramsey Beating the Post-Vacation Blues

Beating the Post-Vacation Blues

by Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine”

So long, Summertime. Good-bye swim clubs, beaches, lakes, and camps! Farewell to fun.

Parents and kids alike have a tough time re-adjusting to the real-life demands of school and work. The problems of re-entry take on many forms, depending on the length of the vacation, the ages of the kids, and whether or not both parents work outside the home.

Some people resist the change of pace. People have to deal with having their time tightly structured once more. When vacation ends, kids have to be more disciplined and that creates certain tensions in the family. Making a post-vacation transition is particularly hard for those people who normally find it difficult to change from one mental state to another. They are the kind of people for whom disorganization is quite distressing.

The first part to adjustments is recognizing that there is a problem. You need to anticipate that you and your children might experience these feelings and be on your guard. Accept the fact that this is going to be a somewhat chaotic period of your life. Things will not be under control. The kids are going to be crabby. There will be much complaining. It is easier if it is predictable because it feels less out of control.

If you are the kind of person who does have trouble with transitions, do not come back from vacation on Sunday and go to work Monday. Give yourself time to adjust gradually instead of whizzing through all of your lists at top speed. Children need extra time, not to mention extra attention.

Daily rituals can help us feel calm. The nighttime bath, story-time, a little TV can develop the sense of order and security. Start order in your children’s lives a week or so before school begins. Remember that gradual change may be less stressful for kids.

Attitudes are contagious. I believe in the power of positive thinking. If you think it’s terrific to be going back to work, the kids will like going back to school. (Well, maybe not!) The point is to accentuate the positive. Put more play in your daily life. Do things you really enjoy. Let your kids do things they really enjoy. Do not save all your fun for vacation is the end of having fun. Plan a fun family event for during the first few weeks of September to help prolong the relaxed Summertime spirit.