THE MOODSTERS EMBRACE 'THE FORGOTTEN GRIEVERS'--YOUNG PEOPLE--AS NOVEMBER MARKS NATIONAL CHILDREN'S GRIEF AWARENESS MONTH
The Evidence-Based Characters Illuminate the Complex Landscape of Emotions for Children Coping with Grief and Loss
NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2022 -- The Moodsters© and their creator, Denise Daniels, RN, MS, are focused year-round on all the emotions that young children feel. Now, as we head into National Children's Grief Awareness Month in November, Daniels and the evidence-based Moodsters characters are demonstrating the critical importance of dealing honestly and empathetically with the unique needs of children coping with grief.
"Children grieve differently than adults—we call it 'intermittent grieving,'" says Daniels, founder of the National Childhood Grief Institute and director of the nonprofit The Moodsters Children's Foundation. "Children don't yet have the coping skills to handle big emotions like grief, anger, and fear, so they often express their feelings through play and laughter. Grown-ups may assume this means the children are bouncing back or insensitive to the loss—but nothing could be further from the truth! Children need support to understand their powerful feelings of grief, which may include feelings of guilt that they were somehow at fault for the bad thing that happened. Grown-ups can provide that vital support by being empathetic listeners and reassuring children that they will always be cared for."
The Moodsters characters, who model big emotions and provide coping strategies, can serve as interventionists, helping children understand and manage their own emotions.
According to Children's Grief Awareness, "Before they graduate from high school, one out of every 20 children will have a parent die—and that number doesn't include those who experience the death of a brother or sister, a close grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or friend." While it is natural for adults to want to protect children from the harsh realities of life, it is important for children to be educated early on and not feel alone in their grieving process.
Daniels and The Moodsters know this firsthand, having spent more than 30 years working with children in crisis hotspots around the globe. When the tsunami struck Southeast Asia, The Moodsters were there for children in Sri Lanka. When Hurricane Katrina caused horrific devastation, The Moodsters were there for the children of New Orleans. And when children in New York were traumatized by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, The Moodsters were there. Now The Moodsters—designated by the U.S. Department of State as a 'Preferred Partner for Ukrainian Children'—are working with refugees and on-the-ground support teams in Italy as they serve Ukrainian children going to school in a new country and new language after suffering the atrocities of war.
As a child development and parenting expert, Daniels knows what children need most in the aftermath of a crisis, tragedy, or disaster:
- Loving adults who will listen without judgment and validate their feelings
- Reassurance that there are good people in the world who are helping others
- Age-appropriate information that can help children process what they've seen or experienced
- Guidelines for recognizing, understanding, and managing their own emotions
- Strategies for coping with grief, loss, and change
"Previous tragedies have shown that a child's grieving process is often overlooked," said Daniels. "There are many children who are grieving in ways we don't recognize; they're often referred to as 'forgotten grievers.' Teaching children how to understand and manage their emotions can help them not feel alone. That's why The Moodsters and I have made it our mission to serve grieving children around the world."
About The Moodsters
The Moodsters is the first evidence-based global children's brand to address emotional literacy, grief, loss, and resilience in young children. The Moodsters characters, who represent the key emotions experienced by young children, were created by Denise Daniels, RN, MS, a Peabody award-winning broadcast journalist, author, and child-development and parenting expert specializing in the social and emotional development of young children. www.themoodsters.com
About Denise Daniels, RN, MS
Denise Daniels founded the National Childhood Grief Institute, serves as director of the nonprofit Moodsters Children's Foundation, and created the groundbreaking, evidence-based children's brand The Moodsters. The Moodster provides parents a platform from which they can talk to their preschoolers about feelings and how to understand and manage their emotions. Denise is a Peabody Award-winning broadcast journalist, author, and parenting and child development expert who specializes in the social and emotional development of children. Her workbooks have reached more than 15 million children and her clear, simple advice has helped parents on several national TV programs from Oprah to the TODAY show. For more about Denise, visit the Our Story page on www.themoodsters.com.
SOURCE The Moodsters