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As a parent, sometimes your parental instinct may kick in, and you may try to do everything possible to protect your children from sadness and bad news.
Unfortunately, there are times when you need to put that desire aside to properly talk to your kids about a miscarriage and the loss of a sibling.
Addressing a miscarriage is difficult and may feel even more awkward when you are still dealing with your emotions.
One way to talk to your children about a miscarriage is by being honest and direct.
When you honestly explain the loss that has happened, it becomes easy to work through their reaction and emotions.
Be as direct as possible within your children's level of understanding and ability to comprehend.
Also, when talking to your children, let them know that the miscarriage is nobody's fault.
Explain what a miscarriage is and how it may occur.
Make sure to keep your explanation child-friendly to avoid further confusion.
Furthermore, try not to hide your emotions.
Try to let your kids know you are also affected by the loss.
Be sure to tell them what they can do to make you feel better.
You are also human, and you also need grief support when grieving.
Continue this overview on how you can talk to your kids about a miscarriage:
One of the ways to talk to your kids about a miscarriage is by doing it honestly and straightforwardly.
When explaining pregnancy loss to your kids, you should keep the conversation honest and simple, as it makes it easy for them to process the information you are giving them.
Keep in mind that using indirect words like "passed away," "lost," or "resting in peace" to explain loss may be confusing for your children.
Stick to using direct words that describe loss, like "dead" or "died," when communicating your loss.
The goal is to explain in a way that is comfortable for you but also simple and easy for your kids to understand.
Also, you may be worried that you have to give them all the medical specifics if you tell them the truth.
Unless your kids ask for more information, the specific medical details often won't be necessary.
Let their questions guide the conversation, and keep your answers simple and honest.
Furthermore, it is critical, to be honest.
If your children see you in an emotional state, they may become confused because they do not understand why you are feeling that way.
Another way to talk to your kids about a miscarriage is by telling them that the miscarriage is no one's fault.
Explain to your kids that it's no one's fault that the pregnancy ended in a loss. It is not their fault neither is it yours.
Sometimes not all kids get excited about having a brother or sister.
If your children weren't enthusiastic about having a brother or sister, they might start to think that it's their fault the baby died because they didn't want a brother or sister.
Children often engage in 'magical thinking,' making them think things happen because of what they thought, said, or did.
Throughout the conversation, continue emphasizing that it's nobody's fault.
Suppose your kids ask why the loss happened.
In that case, you can explain that it is common for pregnant women to suffer miscarriages due to abnormalities out of our control, not because of anything anyone did or didn't do.
Furthermore, as a parent, you may blame yourself for the loss.
Kindly note that miscarriages are common, and they may happen due to various medical abnormalities, for example, a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo, hormonal imbalance or uncontrolled diabetes, etc.
Another way to talk to your kids about a miscarriage is by showing them how you are also dealing with the loss and letting them know how you feel.
Explain to your children that adults need to cry sometimes, and it is normal that you feel sad because you miss the baby.
Your kids may become more worried if they sense that something is wrong and you are trying to hide it.
After a miscarriage, it is possible that you experience emotional reactions like crying, anger, anxiety, sadness, and depression.
Rather than hide your emotions from your child, help your child understand what you are feeling.
For example, if your children find you crying, you can say, "Mommy was crying because I am sad about the baby."
When you show your emotions and their reasons, your kids learn to identify feelings and understand that it's normal to feel sad and cry sometimes.
It can also be helpful to let your child know that even if you are unhappy, you're going to be okay, so they don't start to get worried about you.
Furthermore, as parents, you should model vulnerability and healthy grief coping skills, like taking a break, asking for help, and sharing your feeling.
You can ask your child for a hug so that they feel helpful and involved in your grieving process.
One of the ways to talk to your kids about a miscarriage is by not avoiding their questions.
Children, especially young ones, are inquisitive and may often ask uncomfortable questions.
However, as a parent, you must answer their hard questions as clearly and honestly as possible.
When discussing the loss of a pregnancy, your kids may ask questions like "Where has the baby gone?" or "When will our baby come back?".
It is usual for your kids to become confused and curious about the loss, so answer their questions simply and kindly.
Also, because you are still hurting and recovering from the loss of your pregnancy, it is easy for you to dismiss your children's questions in anger.
When you do this, you send the wrong information to them, and they may feel sad and guilty that the loss happened because of them and something they did or did not do.
Furthermore, no matter how old your child is, their questions matter, and you must communicate and answer them as effectively as possible.
Be an active listener.
It is easier to have a constructive and productive conversation when you are an active listener.
Another way to talk to your kids about a miscarriage is by preparing yourself for whatever reaction they have.
When you prepare yourself for their responses, you won't be surprised and will know how to handle them calmly.
You never know what to expect from your child after telling them about a miscarriage.
Some kids may be numb or angry, or extremely sad.
Understanding that each child will process the information differently is essential, so prepare for various reactions.
Also, let your kids understand that everyone is entitled to feel their own emotions and there is no right or wrong way to feel and express them.
You can also help your children find a way to help your child express their feelings.
For example, your kids may find it helpful to express themselves by writing or drawing pictures.
Furthermore, accept their thoughts, emotions, and feelings with open arms even if they do not reflect your feelings and emotions.
It shows that you are supportive and will continue to be on their side no matter how they respond.
Never invalidate their feelings.
Whether or not you inform your children about the pregnancy, you must also inform them when a miscarriage occurs.
You should also be there to give your the needed support for grief after talking to them about the miscarriage.
They are ways you can talk to your kids about a miscarriage, and they include being honest and direct, letting them know the miscarriage is no one's fault, showing your own emotions, not evading their questions, and being prepared for their reactions.
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