Grief never completely goes away, but over time, it become easier to endure. It’s important for families to give themselves and their children permission to feel happy again. Be assured that the memory of a loved one will continue to live on in everyone’s hearts as the family moves forward. You might try some of these ideas:
Sometimes a long illness might give families time to confront the possibility of death. Other times, the death of a loved one comes suddenly, as in the case of an accident or suicide. You’ll want to approach the situation differently depending on the circumstances.
During COVID-19, children and families may be experiencing all kinds of loss. Check out these tips for the next few weeks on topics dealing with grief.
Most everyone has heard the flight attendant tell them to put their own oxygen mask on before helping others. The same goes for parenting—your health and well-being is important so that you can nurture your child. Self-care is not selfish or indulgent—it’s how we keep ourselves well to ensure we are physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of being there for our young children.
- Bonding – When you sing to your baby, they bond with you and your voice. Singing makes yours the first and most important voice in her life. Your baby learns that you LOVE him.
- Transitions – Babies feel safe when life is predictable. A song for waking up, sleeping, and other routine transitions and activities helps them know what comes next.
- Language – Language is in itself musical, and when you sing and speak, your baby learns about words, language, and communication. Through your singing, baby’s language comprehension begins.
- New words – While you sing and hold your baby, you introduce new vocabulary. When you hold up a stuffed dog as you sing about a dog, baby learns to associate the name of that toy with the words you sing. When you sing about parts of the body and kiss your baby’s feet or tickle his tummy, he learns new words.
- Rhythm and rhyme – Music includes rhythm and rhyme, again, part of our language. In time, babies will recognize rhymes and rhythms.
- Play – Singing is one of many methods of play and “sing-play” is a fun way to interact with babies.
- Family fun – Singing is a great way to involve older siblings in welcoming a new baby to the home. Singing to and playing with the baby builds a bond between siblings. Make singing a family activity.
Even if you’ve kept your toddler away from news about COVID-19 in the media or from overhearing adult conversations, they are bound to have questions. Here are some age-appropriate responses to the common questions a toddler might have. Most importantly, remember to keep your answers simple and age-appropriate.