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Help Needed To Support Child Who Mum Died Suddenly


NannyMcPhie
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I had a terrible phone call today - a new child of ours - 3 years old, mum was rushed into hospital on Friday and died on arrival. They are returning to pre-school this week and I want to have as much info as I can to help them if they need it in any way.

 

Does anyone have any good links - or any leaflets I can download or in fact any information or advice please

 

Thank you

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No real advice, just wanted to say how sorry I am for everyone concerned.

I have no experience to call on but I'd say for you all to keep the routines, no extra fuss, no different treatment. I know you will all be devestated for the child but children deal with this far differently to adults and normallity is possibly what the child needs, not people fussing. The rest of the family will maybe be able to tell you how the childs reacted so far, but they sometimes behave differently at pre-school to home anyway.

I'm sure you'll know what to do at the right time and be alert to changes.

What an awful thing :o

Edited by Rea
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Another thought...was mom ill? I mean, did the family expect her to die at some point but this was just quicker than they expected? It might mean the child had been told mommy was poorly and you can build on that if you need to. If it was completely out of the blue then I'd take a lead form the family for now.

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we have a charity in this area called daisy's dream that specialises in this issue. perhaps try a charity search for your area or contact your early years advisors for a contact (also check out thompson directories...they tend to have a list at the front of the book)

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We have had previous, older conversations abut this here and here

 

Its really important in trying to support the family and child, that you also acknowledge your own needs too, and you will need to suppot each other, a situation like this, altough we dont have to del with often, can leave you emotionally on empty. So look after yourselves too.

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Another good site with lots of ideas on for you to support children who are bereaved - and one that have used for two children at my setting is Winstons Wish

 

http://www.winstonswish.org.uk/

 

 

Has an excellent section for practitioners and ideas to support, plus resources.

Never easy when someone in the family dies and when it's unexpected it's so much more of a shock . :o

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Sending you virtual hugs in this truly awful situation. I can empathise as we had a child also aged 3 who lost his father very suddenly in tragic circumstances. We were amazed by the 'matter of fact' stance the child took but I guess that's children for you.

 

We spoke with the family about what they had told the child and what they wanted us to do.

 

It's not easy and I wouldn't wish it on anyone but it does get 'better' - for us just over a year on our child still talks about Daddy quite regularly - often just 'reminding' me 'Daddy is in heaven' and he just needs a 'yes sweetheart' or something similar and he is happy.

 

Great advice from others already and i can't really add to it but whilst it is in our nature to put the child first please heed the advice of making time for you - I didn't at the time and it kind of caught up with me further down the line

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How awful for everyone... In my area I was lucky enough to attend some training for this hoping it is something I wont need though. I agree with what everyone has said.. the one thing that always sticks out from the training is be honest with the facts find out what children have been told by family but never say that whoever is sleeping now as this has led to many children having phobias about sleeping.

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So sorry to hear of the sudden loss of a parent at your setting, and the devastating impact on the family. We too had a mum that sadly passed away, leaving four very young children at the time. If you speak to the Sencan team they should have a bereavement box containg lots of books, Dvds for young and older children. Winstons wish and Daisys dream are really useful too. The most important thing is to be guided by the other remaining family members and give as much support if required as everybody deals with bereavement in their own way.

As this is also a shock for you all, sometime together to support eachother is often helpful too.

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I'm so sorry to hear of this tragedy, my heart goes out to all affected.

 

I experienced a similar tragedy 25 yrs ago. The mum of twin boys died suddenly, she was also pregnant with her third child. Mum was a committee member and well known within the preschool, having been with us for over a year.

 

I told the staff on a Sunday. When the boys came bounding in like usual on the Monday morning, one of my staff , scooped up one of the boys and hugged him, being quite emotional. A natural reaction but more for her need to share her grief, than of benefit for the boys. The boys continued their session as 4 yr olds do. We all learnt from the experience. The other children in the preschool were not told by us, we agreed with the family that they should be told at home by their own parents. We let the other parents know, and explained that we would be carrying on as normal as possible for the boys.

 

I let the father know that he could phone me at home if he needed to, at any time. We offered free additional sessions for the boys as and when needed. The dad and grandparents decided not to take the boys to the funeral. It was Christmas time and what we did do with the boys was to buy a brand new Christmas tree for the preschool and they made a very special gold star with a photo of their mum in the centre which we placed on top of the tree.

The tree was in the quiet corner and the boys knew that any time they wanted to 'talk' to mum, think about her, or just felt like they needed a hug, they could go to the tree and see her picture shining down on them. This worked in this case but was a spontaneous idea, at the time, and part led by the boys wishes (they had a photo of mum they carried in their pockets which we wanted to 'keep safe') Even though it was 25 yrs ago I can still picture their arrival that morning, in their identical cream Aaron jumpers and brown cord trousers.

 

They moved on to school the following September, but every Christmas we put up 'Dawn's Tree' and we gave special thoughts to our lovely mum, her baby and her boys.

 

Just being there for this family is special for them, as they can know their daughter is with kind caring people whilst they deal with adult things they need to at this time, your kind instincts will help you through this in terms of knowing what is best or not best to do.

 

Everyone will be going through this time within their own contexts and reacting in many different ways.

As others have said, please take care of yourselves too.

 

Peggy

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and me me Scarlettangel i'm weeping too!

 

Just wanted to add to everyone's comments really; just wanted to say that I am thinking of you all this morning and don't forget to treat yourselves to some TLC as I think this may be a difficult morning/time for you

 

sending hugs to all x

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Hugs to you all.

I went through this early in my teaching career.... a very harrowing experience and it wasn't till month later that the little boy opened up.... even years....

 

A good book to share- 'Badgers parting gift'.... maybe not now but one to have in any setting, deals with death through animals.

 

Thinking of you and the family.

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Hi, oh Peggy what an emotional recount, crying too.

 

Nanny McPhie, if you've a Sure start nearby talk to them as some of their workers receive specific training and have relevant leaflets and booklets for staff, parents and children and may come in and do staff training if asked x

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Just wanted to add my sympathy too - nearly a year ago we lost one of our mums to cancer so it wasn't out of the blue but still a shock to the staff as she had been in and seemed ok, but tired, just a week before.

 

Wanted to reassure you that you need to keep things very normal for the child - you might be the one place where she feels things are still the same and she can be herself and enjoy herself. The child came back in 2 days afterwards and outwardly she has coped amazingly well. Take a lead from the child, talk about mum if she wants to, obviously find out how dad has explained it to her and go from there.

 

A year on we still talk about mum, but she has a "new mum" now, which has been a bit hard to take on board but the important thing is that she is loved and feels secure and happy. It has been hard for me and my staff and some of the other mums who knew her best but we feel that we as a team are much more bonded having coped with the experience together.

 

Good luck, try the organisations mentioned above and get all the support you feel you need.

 

Jo x

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