Supporting our children following The Queen’s death
Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we may be wondering how we can answer our children’s questions and help them with their thoughts and emotions.
This is certainly a situation we have never navigated before as parents and carers and we’ll be experiencing our own reactions, as well as helping our children navigate theirs. You may be surprised with how the news of Her Majesty’s death has affected you. It is normal to feel great sadness and loss for someone we have never met, yet who has been a constant figure in our lives. It’s also normal for this to have not affected us emotionally to the extent that it may have affected others around us. We will all react differently.
At the Kitchen Table Project we often talk about different elements that help build faith. Reflecting on these elements can help us as we journey through the coming days and weeks.
Creating that warm, safe and loving environment will help our children if they are feeling sad or concerned. They may have been reminded of the loss of their own grandparent or family member, or the news may cause them to worry that someone they love will die. If hearing the news has caused you to remember how you felt when you lost someone or experienced change, share this with them so they know that this is normal and talk about how God helped you during that time. Creating opportunities to talk or just to be together will help create a sense of security and togetherness and let them know that they can share their thoughts and feelings with you.
The news will have affected everyone differently. Talk about how some people may be feeling the loss greatly, and other people may not be noticing a difference in how they feel. Let them know that is OK.
Don’t think you have to have all the answers – let your children see how you are reflecting on the news and talk to them about what you are thinking and feeling. It’s good for our children to know that we are processing our emotions too and that it is OK to be sad when someone dies or when things change.
Model how we can talk to God about our feelings and ask him to comfort us and give us peace.
Don’t shy away from having conversations – take some time to ask what they think or how they are feeling. They might have lots of questions or none at all, but providing the opportunity to talk will let them know that even if they don’t have questions now, they are safe to ask them if they arise later on.
You could talk about Her Majesty’s life, service, faith and example, what will happen next, the changes in the royal family and grief. You may want to chat about some of the things she said about her faith and take time to read about and celebrate her life.
Being reminded that we are not alone and that others are going through the same experience as us is helpful. You may want to visit a local church where you can light a candle together, lay some flowers or sign a book of condolences. Or you might want to watch some of the television broadcasts and then light a candle or write your own messages of condolence at home.
Talking to God about our emotions is so helpful, especially when we are not sure what we think or feel. Maybe you can take time to thank God for different aspects of The Queen’s life and to ask him to be with the royal family and other people as they grieve.
Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:
- 3 ideas for helping kids give thanks for the life of the queen from Faith in Kids
- Supporting young people after the death of the queen, including preparing your children to watch the Queen’s funeral from Winston’s Wish
- Comfort in Uncertain Times by Rachel Turner helps children to connect during times of uncertainty and change.
- Parenting for Faith | Processing the Queen’s death (brf.org.uk)
- Our Faithful Queen (hopetogether.org.uk) and Children – The Platinum Jubilee
This is a unique event in our lifetime and we’d love to learn together and hear ideas of how you are responding to this with your children or any resources you’ve found particularly helpful.
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