My son only wants to be comforted - Nationellt kompetenscentrum anhöriga

My son only wants to be comforted

We had been to see grandad, who is old and sick.
Us adults were talking about how he felt and grandad himself said he had not long left to live.
Ali really liked his grandad who had always been there as a stable support in Ali's life.
On the journey home from grandad's, Ali was unusually quiet.
When we got home, I helped him get into bed; it takes a while with the braces, support bandages and other things.
I was chatting about this and that but only got mumbling responses from Ali.
When he got into bed he started to cry and said that he was really scared that grandad was going to die.
I tried to comfort him saying that grandad is not that sick but that he is old and tired.
You don't have to be sad and scared...
I didn't get further than that before Ali interrupted:
"You shouldn't say that it's nothing to be sad about when I am sad.
You should listen to me and say that you understand that I'm sad, comfort me and help me.
Don't tell me it's not sad, don't disagree."
It was a real eye-opener.
How do I talk to my child about being sad and scared?
Is it scary for me personally to think that my dad might die and that's why I play it down a bit?
It's okay to be sad of course.
We adults may find it hard – you naturally want your own child to feel secure.
We had a good talk after that sitting there on the bed.

/Dad to Ali, 9 years old

Last updated 2018-02-12 by wermeling, responsible publisher Opratat