Raising children is challenging, and for parents who lose their partner, the road ahead will be even more difficult. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and advice for how to navigate this tough situation. We'll talk you through how to raise your children as a widow or widower and how to maintain your own wellbeing while caring for your kids. 🤍
Adjusting to single parenting
Parenting is never easy, but brand new challenges are unlocked when the death of a spouse is involved. Not only do you have to parent, but you now have to parent children that are grieving, while you yourself are also mourning the death of your parenting partner. In some instances, children aren’t even old enough to understand death and you may now be in a position where you have to find a way to tell them that their other parent isn’t coming home.
The loss of a partner and parent is very tough emotionally, mentally and financially. If you’re worried about finances, please be aware that there is financial support available for bereaved people with children. 💵
You are also entitled to take time off work following a bereavement, and it’s wise to take some time to fully process what has happened. You may feel as though there’s no way to get through this, but here are a few things that you can do to help yourself and the kids get through this difficult time.
Losing a parent can be really tough for a child. One of the most important people in their lives is now suddenly gone, and never coming back. This can be a very difficult thing for a child to process and understand.
One of the best ways to help your child through this tough time is to take them to grief counselling. 🗣️ Let them freely express how they feel about losing their loved one and how it affects them.
Counsellors are trained to help little ones deal with these big emotions. They are also able to help you get through the loss of your spouse. While being strong for your children, remember that you need to care for yourself as well.
Surround Yourself with Supportive Friends & Family
As a parent, you are the most important person in your child’s life. But don’t hesitate to reach out to family and friends who are willing to lend a listening ear, a comforting shoulder, words of encouragement or just general support to you and your kids whenever they can. 🧑🤝🧑
Allow these people to provide extra love and support to your children because they’ll need it during this difficult time in their lives. Let your loved ones support you too while you navigate this challenging situation.
It’s important to be honest with your kids, even about difficult things, like the death of a parent. Of course it’s not easy because we always want to shield our kids from scary or difficult situations. But kids are very intuitive, and usually know when something is up.
They can tell when an adult is hiding something from them and they’re going to want to know what it is. Not telling them the truth also breaks the bond of trust. It’s very important that your kids are able to trust you because breaking that trust can affect your relationship in future. 🗣️
If your kid is old enough to ask the question, they’re old enough to hear the truth in an age-appropriate way. The NHS has put together a helpful guide on how to talk about death with your child. 🤍
Whether you recently lost your partner, or you’ve been dealing with it for some time, raising a child on your own is never easy. Don’t be afraid to join community groups with other widowed parents, and don’t be afraid to tell your child the truth if they ask questions about their deceased parent. 👨👧👦 At GoStudent, we’ve written about how you can raise your children as a single parent, and we’d recommend you check this post out for more helpful tips.