Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Simple Statements to Remember Loved Ones

When Grandpa Dies
Last year my father-in-law died. My son was five years old, my daughter was three. In his final days, we visited him in hospice, took him flowers, and read books with him. When he died it shook us all. My son was afraid to see his own father sleeping so I became the primary night-time parent. My daughter, who had been sleeping in her own room, took a new spot on the floor of our master bedroom.

The Day of the Dead
We have had a little more than a year to come to terms with the loss of the beloved man. And I have co-opted The Day of the Dead as a time and way to remember him.

The Day of the Dead is a holiday for remembering and celebrating people who have died. But how do we do that with young children? Like many things, I find it best to keep it simple.

Simple, Not Scary
For our family, coloring is a good way to come together. We sit together at the table and free-draw or color in coloring books. The Day of the Dead is no exception. I did an internet search for "day of the dead coloring pages" and chose one that seemed like it would be inviting to color.

I printed three copies of if, one for me, one for my son, and one for my daughter. Then I offered it as an invitation. He connected dots. She wanted to cut hers out.

How Sportcasting Helps
I said, "Today is the Day of the Dead. It is a special day for remembering people who have died. I remember visiting Grandpa when he was sick."

Then my daughter offered, "I remember when Grandpa shared his gummies with me." My son added, "Yeah. He was a really nice guy."

That was enough.

Sportcasting, stating the obvious, is a powerful tool in our home for communicating. It proved especially helpful for my children to say something about their Grandpa.

Get Started Coloring
Looking for something simple to do with your preschoolers today? Why not get started with an invitation to color.

Here is a link to the skull I chose: http://www.getcoloringpages.com/images/6r/6rfknay.jpg

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