Focus on joy and gratitude 
The month of May brings many happy events, from Mother’s Day to graduations, so let’s talk about joy and gratitude. While grief around these events can bring about intense feelings in your child, joy and gratitude can still be present and it can help healing to focus on them. Here are some tips to cultivate joy and gratitude in your household:

  • Model gratitude. In everyday interactions with your child, voice aloud what you feel grateful for. For example, if you are outside with your child and are enjoying the weather, you can say, “I’m grateful it’s a sunny day today.”
  • Create moments of joy. Think of small things that can bring joy – a dance party, a game, a silly joke, an ice cream cone – and utilize these! Even if your child is older, they might appreciate these experiences if you approach them in a light-hearted way. 
  • Share joyful memories. If you and your child are grieving the same person and you feel that your child is in the right mood, take the time to share funny or quirky memories about the person that you are missing. This will hopefully make you both smile and give you space to remember your person in a happy light.
  • Practice gratitude. If there is a time when your family is together regularly, such as at dinnertime, start sharing a few things that each of you are grateful for each time you meet.

We also encourage you to take notice when you feel joyful and grateful. When these feelings are a part of your regular experience, they can better flow out into your household as well. So use these tips for yourself, not just for your child!