Children’s Grief 0-2 years

Developmental Stage 

Physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects.

Provision of basic needs: Food, warmth, comfort, love, security. Importance of bonding/attachment to mother or key caregiver.

Concept of Death 
None. Only an awareness of separation by absence.

Common Reaction to Loss and Change

Physical
Feeding, sleeping ,
toileting difficulties

Emotional
Lengthy separation from key caregiver may lead to despair and detachment.

Cognitive
Need for distraction, play,
and stimulation.

Behavioral
Regression to an earlier stage of development. Protests against separation.

 

How Adults Can Help

Physically
Respond to children’s needs for normal routines regarding feeding, toileting, and rest.

Emotionally
Provision of a consistent, loving, comforting caregiver.

Cognitively
Respond to child’s need for stimulation and distraction. Stranger anxiety.

Behaviorally
Allow for regression. Be sensitive to child’s fear of separation and
stranger anxiety.