Wrongful death can often have a long-term impact, especially on children. Whether a parent dies in a car crash or a work accident, children need help adjusting to their new reality.
After a parent dies unexpectedly, your children will likely need additional support. The Child Mind Institute says that there are several ways you can help your children as they grieve.
Provide opportunities to talk
While you might want to take your children’s minds off the situation, they may want to speak about it. Experts recommend that you are honest during these conversations. It is all right to explain that you do not have all the answers and that you also feel sad about what happened. These discussions can help you understand how your children are doing emotionally and what kind of support they might need from you.
Address their concerns
Children could have many questions about the future after a parent dies. Adolescents in particular may ask about their family’s financial situation. Younger children might worry that a similar incident will happen again. You might want to tell your children that they have nothing to worry about. However, it can help to acknowledge their concerns and tell them that you have already considered your options.
Look for signs of trauma
Children may develop traumatic stress after a parent dies. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, you should be able to identify symptoms of trauma in children. Young children might have nightmares or experience separation anxiety. School-age children could have problems sleeping and focusing on their schoolwork. Teenagers may show signs of depression. If you recognize these symptoms in your children, you might need to take additional action to help them recover.
The wrongful death of a parent can deeply affect your entire family. Some families may find it helpful to pursue damages. This can sometimes provide necessary financial stability as you heal.