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 BlueRoze
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 1
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Recently (May 17) two of my older children lost thier father, we haven't been together for 13 yrs and he was married to someone else for 11. The kids did spend one month almost every summer for last 10 yrs and also periodically during the year (holidays or if he was at this end of the country) we had a good relationship for most of those 13 yrs for the kids sake.... but the past 3 yrs were really not good at all.
Now my 15 yr old boy and 13 yr old girl have lost thier father and alot of things were left unmended emotionally for the kids. Over the past couple of years he said and did alot of hurtful things to both myself and kids or to me in front of the kids that the kids now have mixed feelings about .... they seem really confused about how to deal with his death. The problem is I'm not even sure how to deal with it myself... like I said we had a good talking relationship and up until a couple of years ago he was very helpful to me personally and to the kids (he paid my tuition for school back in 98 saying that my education was benificial to my kids so that is why he was helping) but then everything turned and he became hurtful and long story short there was a long custody battle that ended a year ago and even though i was being reasonable with access etc.... "reasonable access with reasonable notice and summers" he decided he didn't want any access at all ...... this also hurt the kids ALOT.
I think that is part of what is confusing the kids most is they don't know how he really felt about them..... i've tried to tell them he loved them but it's not the same if it's not coming from him and unfortunetly (sp? lol) he can't tell them now....
The best I've been able to do for them is just listen if and when they wanna talk and tell them that I believe he loved them and let them know that i'm still there for them and that I love them.

If anyone else has ever been in this situation please feel free to let me know how you managed to help your children....

Also if you can tell me signs to watch for , for things like depression etc... like how long till either the actual greiving starts or for how long it lasts when it does.....
thanks for listening :) may have sounded a bit like a rant but i'm not real good at writing my thoughts down clearly lol
 huixin
Joined: 11/22/2007
Msg: 2
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:06:01 PM
"If anyone else has ever been in this situation please feel free to let me know how you managed to help your children.... "

It's a little different I don't have ant children and will never but I lost my father 9 yrs ag0. He died of cancer.
the miserable feeling of losting him has been desperating me for the whole 9 yrs witnout pause. I can't stop thinking of and missing him even breaktime .In the beginning, I had planned suicide.

The ways of solving and managing it are
1.keep myself busy . Time is always occupied with writing ( for magzines) travelling
going hiking with pals ,st.
2.No reading my farther's album photos . I try to erase all the image of him as if he has
never exsited in my life although I know I am cheating myself to do so.
3.ask for help from RELIGION.

After all i am an adult compared to your children ,I am old enough.
They are too young to accept the loss of their dad.

I hope my ways are helpful to them.
Be strong !!!!!
 huixin
Joined: 11/22/2007
Msg: 3
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:06:12 PM
"If anyone else has ever been in this situation please feel free to let me know how you managed to help your children.... "

It's a little different I don't have ant children and will never but I lost my father 9 yrs ag0. He died of cancer.
the miserable feeling of losting him has been desperating me for the whole 9 yrs witnout pause. I can't stop thinking of and missing him even breaktime .In the beginning, I had planned suicide.

The ways of solving and managing it are
1.keep myself busy . Time is always occupied with writing ( for magzines) travelling
going hiking with pals ,st.
2.No reading my farther's album photos . I try to erase all the image of him as if he has
never exsited in my life although I know I am cheating myself to do so.
3.ask for help from RELIGION.

After all i am an adult compared to your children ,I am old enough.
They are too young to accept the loss of their dad.

I hope my ways are helpful to them.
Be strong !!!!!
 wanderbaby
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 4
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:06:47 PM
I'm sorry that you are at a tough spot as well as for your kids' loss. Perhaps you should seek counseling to let it all out, and maybe the counseling can open your kids about how they feel rather than keep it in.

I think for the most part, they feel shock and maybe anger, since he didn't treat them well and for you as well. that's going to put more of a guilt since they feel that way. Encourage them to let it out all out, maybe get something they can throw and tell them that it's ok to say what they want, either good or bad. and then say something to them about just because their father died mean their feelings good or bad die, but they can put to rest all these bad emotions and try to remember the good things and accept that some things were said out of anger. And don't letter these bad feelings cloud them through life. And to find true happiness in the future, past hurt feelings and memories need to be healed and let go.
 BlueRoze
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 5
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:21:42 PM
thanks
I've asked for councelling however my oldest of the two says he doesn't want it and is refusing to go says he is fine with everything .... however what I'm seeing is that is a little more withdrawn than usual (used to play alot on puter or ps2 and hasn't touched it since the funeral), he also is pulling alot of rebelling stuff such at talking back, fighting with his siblings and just completely disrespecting me all of which is completely out of character for him...
my daughter is exactly the way she was before..... which is worrying me a bit.. she was a rock at his funeral....she won't talk about him, hasn't cried or anything she has shown no feelings about his death at all...... i'm really worried what's going to happen when and if it hits...


FYI people who voted this a pity...... it isn't for pity i'm trying to find people i can relate to for information not for pity ..... I don't want pity I want real information that comes from real people.....
 ~JustSimplyMe~
Joined: 8/18/2006
Msg: 6
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:25:37 PM
I don't know if I can be of much help but we lost our father 3 years ago. My younger siblings just had to be reminded that before he got mean he loved us very much and the things he said in the few years prior to his death didn't come from 'our' dad they came from a man we didn't know.
He still loved us in his way but he was sick, and that is how his brain reacted to the illness taking over his body.

You don't say how he died - was it a disease? Cancer..an accident or a tragic death?
My father died in a tragic house fire...his house went up in 7 minutes flat and they found his remains still in his bed. We all have the unanswered questions of did he start the fire? Or was it just a fluke of nature?

We all went to grief counseling to understand that it was better this way as he was very mentally ill.
All you can do is assure your children that their father loved them very much and they need to remember the great times with dad...not just the ugly times.
As to the grieving it could have already started and could last up to a year or more. (Crappy for us, as dad died on Canada Day, so it's not a day that will ever just pass on by. Its a day that the whole country will remind us of every year. )
Get them some counseling, and give them extra love and attention. They will make it through it.
 wanderbaby
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 7
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:27:35 PM
some people when they are dealing with hurt feelings, will keep it to themselves so they dont show signs of weakness, I think that's an instinct all human have, they're licking their wounds. I would say allow him some leighway but pull the rope a little or he'll walk all over you and feel he can do it all the time, he may not like it but it may help ground him to what he has before his father's death. He's confused because he doesn't know how to react. Let him know he doesn't have to do a one on one counseling but he'll have to go when all of them go in together. He may not talk, but he'll listen, and he'll take it in.
 BlueRoze
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 8
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:33:46 PM

You don't say how he died - was it a disease? Cancer..an accident or a tragic death?

it was an accident.... a fall down a flight of stairs
 BlueRoze
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 9
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/10/2008 10:45:17 PM

How is your (and your children's) relationship with his widow; after some time maybe she could help to shed a little light on the situation.


I haven't spoken to her in quite a few years.... and i wouldn't know what to say to her right now she is taking his death real hard and i fear that i may no longer be welcomed as i once was since i have no more connection to her.

I do talk to the kids grandmother (on fathers side) on a regular basis we have always had a great relationship ... in fact she has invited all 3 of my kids to the farm for the summer .... my oldest boy will be working so he will be gone the whole summer, and my daughter and even my youngest who doesn't share the same father will be going for a month.
I'm hoping that maybe if my older two spend time with his family then maybe it will help. and it may even help the grandparents with their feelings and healing etc..
 BlueRoze
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 10
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/11/2008 1:03:49 PM

You didn't say how he died?


I did a few posts after my original one
it was an accident .... totally unexpected... as far as i know he fell down the stairs... the how he fell i don't know .... they (his family/wife) doesn't want to talk about the how ... just that he is gone... they say it doesn't matter how
I guess maybe someday I may know but right now i don't ... so i can't even answer those questions .... even tho the kids have been speculating about what he may have been doing to cause the fall etc... but i can't confirm any of their speculations.
 1Supermom
Joined: 7/24/2006
Msg: 11
how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/12/2008 4:18:34 PM
Hello,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you are feeling. My ex husband died in December of an overdose. Our children are 9 and 8 and they think he just died in his sleep of a heart attack.

I know that when they get a little older I will have to tell them what really happened and that is going to kill me. I just hope that their little hearts and minds can comprehend the bad news and understand the way their father treated them was not because he didnt love them but it was because of the drugs.

It is an awful feeling knowing that your children are going to grow up without a father in their lives. I dont have any plans on remarrying. I just dont want to go through that again. I keep up the hope of finding that one special person who will love us all for who we are and treat us all with respect.

I keep telling my children how much their father loved and charished them and how hard of a worker he was and what a big heart he had. I am always reminding them of the fun times they had together and hopefully that will help. I think that is really the only thing a mother can do. I did put a very nice picture of him in each of their rooms on their nightstands and we say prayers for their dad and visit the grave.

My kids have good days and bad. They worry that I am going to die in my sleep and it is hard some nights to get them to their beds. Most nights I let them cuddle with me in my bed until I know they are exhausted and them put them in their rooms.

I would like to continue to write to you if you would like to write back. My email address is kdoerfl2@zoominternet.net.

If I do not hear from you best of luck with yourself and children. Continue praying and God will take care of everything.

Sincerely
 BlueRoze
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 12
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/12/2008 7:46:07 PM
Thank you for your post supermom :)
and sorry for your childrens loss as well .
I'm hoping that this summer that they will be spending with thier fathers family may help them a bit... they may believe what his family says about their dads feelings for the kids more than if it came from me ....
I'm also going to make a memory book of all the pictures i have of them and thier dad ... kind of a reminder of how happy they all were together and that he loved them. I'll also be including any stories (the good ones of course) to go with any of the pictures that have stories with them .....
It will also be something they can show thier children when they get older and they can share the stories of thier grandpa with thier kids.
the scrapbook (which will be also in cd format) was kind of the grandmothers idea. the cd format i'm also going to include home videos of them.
again thank you for the post :)
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 13
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how to help children deal with death of a parent
Posted: 6/13/2008 11:00:39 AM
Blueroze, I too am sorry for your loss and that it happened with the relationship already in tatters. Continue to offer the counseling periodically and start googling, there is a great deal of information available on the Internet about the stages of grief that will help you shed light on what is going on. With two of the children you described, your son is angry and your daughter is probably still in denial, shut down so she does not have to deal with it.

I would also say that you should talk to the widow because she acted as a mother to your children during those visits and whether from divorce or death, those ties shouldn't be dissolved. My stepson will always be my stepson. I would just approach it with her honestly. Tell her that you do not want to contribute to her grief but the children are having difficulty dealing with their father's death as are you, and you wondered if she has any suggestions for things their father said, loving things despite the no-contact, etc. The only thing she can do is tell you she doesn't want to talk.

As for the kids, tell them what you honestly feel and more importantly, give them an opportunity to talk to you. If you let them know that you are confused about how you feel, they feel better about their own dilemma. Also recognize that if they were angry before he died, they could be feeling guilty about that and it does not make them a bad person just having a normal reaction to the situation. You don't have to have answers and even if you did, they will still go through these stages of grief. They will also do things differently and at their own pace. For some people, one or more stages are either drawn out or short. While we can facilitate moving through them it really cannot be controlled or done more expediently.

One of the hardest parts for them is that things were left so unresolved. This will probably be the hardest part for them to get past, that there will be no opportunity for mending fences. Even though he cannot respond, it might be helpful for you to give them permission to talk to their dad. Suggest journaling if any of your kids would do that type of thing. Trying to keep things as normal as possible is also helpful.

I lost my father 9 years ago, as an adult, and without any real loose ends from an emotional standpoint and it really took me months to get past it. Arm yourself with information and pay attention to what the kids are doing, time will do the rest.
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