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ERIC Number: EJ1395157
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-6177
What to Say to Young Children Experiencing Loss: A Framework for Helping Children Move through the Process of Grief
Crist, Mary; Purper, Cammy
Dimensions of Early Childhood, v51 n1 p23-31 2023
In her work with bereaved children at the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston, Fox (1988) identified four universal tasks that grieving children must complete in order to achieve a grief outcome that is good: "understanding," "grieving," "commemorating," and "going on." In light of the need to support grieving children in early childhood programs, the purpose of this essay is to provide caregivers with a deeper understanding of what grief is, to describe how young children experience grief, and to explore the process of how young children move through grief, as outlined by Fox (1988). Using this understanding as a foundation, the authors have identified a set of corresponding teacher tasks, focusing on practical ideas for empathic communication and the identification of developmentally appropriate language that can be used to talk with young children in grief to promote healing and resilience. In the final section, the authors provide some useful Web-based resources that teachers can easily access to gain further knowledge about helping children cope with grief.
Southern Early Childhood Association. PO Box 8109 Jacksonville, AR 72078. Tel: 501-221-1648. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A