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Can you help my daughter please?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by alwayslearning, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. alwayslearning

    alwayslearning New commenter

    <font size="2">I'm sorry that this isn't school related, but I need some advise.</font><font size="2">My father died 5 weeks ago and I guarded my 6yr old child from it during the initial week. I then told her that God had made a special place for a special person and that person was her grandad. Unexpectedly she simply said "Is he dead?" and after that she went to play. I didn't push her and decided to be guided by her, when she asked to go to the grave, we went. When she wanted to draw pictures for my dad, we drew them. At times she would have nightmares, but would never say what had happened to reduce her to tears.</font><font size="2"> This week was parent's evening and my daughter's teacher told me that her behaviour has deteriorated and they want me to meet with the SENCO and SEN TA . </font><font size="2">Also this week I have been poorly with a nasty chest infection and he also gave me a note yesterday telling me that &lsquo;I can love you when I&rsquo;m dead&rsquo; and &lsquo;I will die without you mummy&rsquo;. </font><font size="2">Tonight she has woken up crying saying that she had an accident and died! It breaks my heart.</font> <font size="2">Can someone please help me, help her. If this was a pupil and parent I would have lots of ideas, but it&rsquo;s personal and I need to help her quickly. </font>
    <font size="2">Thank you.</font>
     
  2. Jen g

    Jen g New commenter

    Hi - I am so sorry for your loss - it sounds like you are being very brave for your daughter. When a pupil of mine lost her parent I found that Minstons wish was a great help. I rang them just to see if they could send me a leaflet or somethng but there and then they allowed me to speak with one of their councellors who had lots of lovely ideas for helping the pupil. You can find the number if you google winstons wish.
     
  3. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    I'm so sorry for your loss! :-(

    I've had training with this charity before (I'm PSHE Leader in a primary school), and they are brilliant. I hope they can be of help to you. They're based in Cornwall, but I'm sure they'll help, or you'll have a similar charity nearby.

    http://www.penhaligonsfriends.org.uk/
     
  4. alwayslearning

    alwayslearning New commenter

    Thank you so much, I am going to phone them asap tomorrow. Thank you
     
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    That sounds like a good idea, but I'd also say that the sorts of things that your child is saying are exactly what mine said at a similar age after the death of a grandparent - even a year later. They're no different from us really. It has made them think a lot more about what if I died, or they died etc etc. I'm sure that's normal. They originally did it all much younger when they had seen a dead bird, but the death of a close relative of course really makes reality stare them in the face. I try to reassure mine by saying that fortunately most people die when they are very very old - and of course to them that sounds a very long time off. It also seems to be the age for nightmares - and anything can trigger them. If you are religious, you might also find it helpful for someone at your place of worship who they like and trust to talk to her about death in an appropriate way.
    I think the best you can do is be honest about your grief, and let your child take part in the grieving and goodbyes in whatever way she chooses. I had an in-law who had some very fixed ideas about what was appropriate for a child and this made it much harder for them to do their goodbyes in a way they would really have liked to do. They had some very lovely ideas about what they would have liked to do at the funeral which would also have brought joy to the occasion. Children can be very clear in their understanding of death and celebration of life at that age I think.
     
  6. when this was an issue with my kids, I basically related it to a toy when the batteries had run out and died ....my daughter, who had a potentially fatal illness herself, was happy with this.
     
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    [​IMG] Every one does these things their own way. I am wondering if the OP has almost been too "protective" of the child and they are a bit cross about it. My children were upset that they could not go to the actual funeral, or see in the coffin. They asked everything about the whole process the day their grandparent died, and then when a closer relative decided they could not go or look it was very hard explaining to them why. Everyone of course has their own ways of doing this ....... but maybe if you didn't tell your child for a week that your father had died they kind of think you are not being honest with them and this is making them feel cross, and also worried that people do suddenly disappear. The bit about " I will die without you" is presumably a clever child having worked out that you are likely to die before them because you are older. By covering things over due to your own taboos you can make the whole thing much more disturbing for children who are by their very nature curious and open about everything and can instantly see when you are hiding things or not being straightforward. Sorry if I have got that completely wrong. Hopefully the suggestions above will be helpful to you.
    Of course, on the other hand, there are children of that age who have been to funerals etc and wish that they hadn't. As a parent, it's impossible to get these things right. You can only do what you see as the best thing for you and your child at the time. There is no right or wrong. I do wish we had the Irish approach in England though!!
     
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It must have been very hard for the OP to 'guard' her child, and I wonder whether she wasn't doing it more to guard them from seeing her own pain more than from any that her daughter might have felt herself. Sorry to sound so Pop Psychology there.
    People - even little ones - have a right to grieve for themselves, hard though it is. And going to the funeral is a part of that, unless they say they don't want to go. Sharing treasured memories is important, and there are lots of books that deal with that aspect of loss. John Burningham's 'Grandpa' is a lovely book.
    Perhaps the OP's child wanted to talk about her loss. I know that I still suffer from the fact that my dad could never even mention my mother to us for twenty years after she died, when I was 24. His inablity to talk made me bury my own grief out of respect for his. I was never angry with him [being an adult, I understood] but it was hard.
    The other thing is that young children are fascinated by the idea of death. When I was five, my budgy flopped off her perch, stone dead. That was my first experience of death. It was followed by the gradual decrease of elderly family numbers as my childhood progressed. My brothers and I went to every funeral. The sole exception is that of my paternal grandmother, who died when I was six. All I remember is my dad's howl of gried when he was informed.
    I've rambled. Sorry. It's a topic that induces rambling because we all have our memories. All I can say in conclusion is that, in my experience, the chilren who've been shielded and sent to school on the day of their elderly relation's funeral have been either indifferent [because the relation wasn't close] or confused.
     
  9. I don't know how I'd cope in your situation, to be honest and I guess everyone deals with it in their own way but I've heard good things about this:
    http://www.slideaway.org/
    but it depends where you live. They might be able to put you in touch with similar organisations in other areas x
     
  10. alwayslearning

    alwayslearning New commenter

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and yes, people can't judge other but can only offer suggestions and I appreciate the helpful ones made.
    Since my post my husband has returned to the cardiologist due another A+E trip through heart problems and OFSTED arrive in school on Monday.......ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
     
  11. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Nothing to add to what everyone else has said but given your last post I just waned to send you a hug.
    Do remember to take care of YOU - you have so much to deal with right now.
     

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