Old 06-08-2010, 05:24 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Children and Grief

Forum friends, especially those of you who like me have minor children: there was a great program on children dealing with the loss of a parent on the Diane Rehm show today. You can listen to the program at the NPR web site. Dealing with a Parent's Early Death | The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:05 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

Thanks for the link!
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:21 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

i will have to check it out thanks tajmom
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:32 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

Thank you tajmom. I need it for me as well as my two kids.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:52 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

Thank you. We (my wife and I) are in the process of trying to determine what to tell the kids (13, 10, 7). How much information is "to much", etc. To make matters worse, my oldests teacher's father just past away from ALS...she has been asking a lot of questions; if I use the term "ALS" in the discussion she is going to lose it.

Any information I can get my hands on is helpful.

Thanks again,

Dan
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:03 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

Dan-

Have you checked with the social worker or counselor at your ALS clinic? Depending on their resources, they may be able to give suggestions or guidance. They should at least be able to refer you to some books or other reading material on this.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:01 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

You know Dan, kids see a lot of things everyday that they don't get any explanations for. They don't need much of a detailed explanation of anything. If dad needs some help with things, then dad is helped. They don't need to be told about progression because they will see it happen slowly. So they don't need to worry or be upset about it ahead of time.

I think sometimes we are telling children to be unhappy in the way that we tell them. I'm a firm believer that they won't ask a question before they are ready to hear the answer. Let them lead the way.

IMHO, you and your wife need to get stable with this whole thing first yourselves. Don't rush to tell them until you're fully comfortable. Then they will sense your comfort and they feel comfortable too.

I 'm sorry for preaching yet again.

*hugs*
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:10 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

I think Laurie makes a good point, particularly with the "get stable with yourselves" first.

Jim was diagnosed in May/June '08, and for a variety of reasons we didn't not tell our families about it until Sept. One was that we wanted to process it first ourselves, get to a point where we had mapped out a plan, and could discuss this in a calm & confident manner.

We told our "children" first- adult sons, 27 & 30 at the time. It was hard, no doubt about that, and not everything sunk in at first. After some digging & researching by them on the internet, they saw that "2-5 yr. timeline" thing that we didn't mention.

A week later, while talking with younger son, checking how he was doing, did he have any questions, he totally broke down. I let him have his cry, but then gave him the pep talk- we don't know what will happen, everyone is different, we trust & believe God is here to help us, we will take one day at a time.

He then asked me "Mom, are you OK?" (I was very touched by that) to which I calmly said, "yes, I'm OK. We are all going to be OK; we will get through this." We also told them both that if they have any questions for or about Jim, the diagnosed or progression they should come to us (and not the internet, or other people) and we will answer any question openly & honestly.

Now I realize young children are a different scenario, but I do think they will take your lead. If you are calm & matter of fact, they will be too. You can teach them strength
in the challenges you face just by example. This can be the greatest life lesson you could give them!

(my turn to stop preaching!)
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:44 AM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Children and Grief

My children are 15 and 18. They process everything in completely diffent manners. One stays so busy, she has little time to think about things. The younger son is more of home-body. He stays available to Dad, but doesn't say much. Because his dad was so symptomatic, my son researched ALS and came to the conclusion that my husband had it before we even got the diagnosis. Telling him was more of a confirmation.
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