Supporting a family who has lost a child

Psychotherapist Amy Luster, MA, MFT, shares advice on the best way to help support and comfort a friend or family member that has lost a baby or a child
Advice For Supporting A Family Who Has Lost A Child
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Supporting a family who has lost a child

Comment
441
Unlike
441
Transcription: 
My suggestion, if you have a friend or family member that has lost a baby or a child, is to refrain from giving well-meant advice or platitudes. Do offer a listening presence if they feel like talking about their feelings. Know that there is no time table for grief. Offer specifically on errands that you might run that would be helpful to them, as opposed to offering vague offers, such as, let me know if there is anything I can do. Be specific, such as, "I'd like to walk your dog. What time would be good?" Speak of their baby or child by name. They want desperately to know that their baby or child will be remembered. Resist the urge to pack up or remove their child's things from their room. At the same time, if the parent wants you to sit with them, offer to go through their child or baby's thing as a caring presence. If there are other children in the family, offer to spend time with them and take them on outings. Know that children grieve differently from adults. They may need to express their grief through physical activity or imaginative play. Don't make the mistake that they have overcome or gotten over their feelings. Feel free to talk about the child or the sibling by name because the child needs the opportunity to talk about their feelings as well.

Psychotherapist Amy Luster, MA, MFT, shares advice on the best way to help support and comfort a friend or family member that has lost a baby or a child

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Amy Luster, MA, MFT

Psychotherapist

Amy Luster, MA, is a psychotherapist and author. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families. She runs a group entitled, Parenting After a Loss which offers support, guidance, and education. Her emphasis is on assisting parents who have experienced a child-bearing loss whether from ongoing infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a baby. Her goal is to help families function in a healthy, satisfying way despite their past loss. Amy, her husband and their four children live in Santa Monica, CA. 

More Parenting Videos from Amy Luster, MA, MFT >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter