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Women and Family Care

Children's expressions of grief

If a child has a significant attachment to the “new baby” and is grieving the loss, there are many possible expressions of that grief.

Behaviorally/Socially

  • Regression.
  • Aggression (hitting, demanding).
  • Withdrawal.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Rebellion/Defiance.
  • Hoarding.
  • Crying.
  • Recklessness.
  • Attention getting.

Emotionally

  • Self blame and guilt.
  • Fear – “Will it happen to me?”, “Will God punish me?”, fear of the dark, fear of going to sleep.
  • Anger.
  • Sadness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Apathy.
  • Despair.
  • Unaccepting.

Physically

  • Headaches.
  • Stomach aches.
  • Lowered resistance to colds and infectious.
  • Bowel or bladder disturbances.
  • Changes in eating or sleeping.

Cognitive

  • Decreased attention span.
  • Exaggerations in “magical thinking”.
  • Denial of loss.
  • Increase in nightmares/dreams.
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