For those of you who have children or who are around children, you know the gifts they have. They teach us so very much, but we have to be willing to listen with our hearts.
When a death, impending death or a traumatic event happens to a child, they understand how to take a break from that pain. As adults, we sometimes see this "break" as them not understanding what is happening, being rebellious about the rituals we want them to participate in or simply just "over it." However, if we listen with our hearts we will find a different answer.
Children have a gift of intuitiveness. It is about moving away from the pressure or pain by engaging in something they enjoy or something distracting, until the time they can come back to the grief they feel. Although they may not understand what they are doing, the benefits can be tremendously helpful. As adults, can you imagine how your day might be different, if you took a "break" from your grief or from the things that cause you pain? Not diminishing your grief by not coming back to that starting point again, but validating your thoughts and feelings and allowing yourself a little grace to breathe...to listen with your heart.
At Mane Support, every session with a child is a lesson to be learned. When they are with the horses, they share that "life in the moment" attitude that allows them to begin to understand that "grief is a process and not an event"... a process where they can take a break when words are to difficult to say.
Some helpful guidelines in working with or talking with children who have experienced a death (bereavement), impending death (anticipatory grief) or trauma related to the loss.
1. Be honest, not graphic.
2. Speak on their developmental level versus focusing on their chronological age.
3. Provide them with their own means of communication. A way they feel comfortable telling their story.
For more information on the effects that grief and trauma have on children and adults, plan on attending the workshop on Saturday, December 2nd! We will be incorporating equine assisted counseling, art and discussion techniques. It would be great to have you join us!