Seeing your child smile and laugh is one of the most valuable things a parent can experience. That's especially true for parents of "rainbow babies," who bring a bright, colorful light to parents who've weathered the storms of loss and sorrow. These parents may want to include their child on their family's journey, but talking to children about loss can be difficult, so parents may wonder, how do I tell my child they were a rainbow baby?
A rainbow baby refers to a child born after the loss of a previous baby. Telling your child that they are a rainbow baby would involve revealing the emotions and facts surrounding the loss, and detailing the happiness and love associated with their entrance into your lives.
The decision to tell your child about this loss is a highly personal one, and only a parent can gauge their child's emotional capabilities and maturity. According to Kids Health, the way kids cope with loss is dependent upon their age, their emotional proximity to the loss, and the support they receive.
Baby Center advised that you should begin talking to your child about loss by keeping it simple, and not hiding your grief so they can learn that it's OK to express emotions. The website also suggested you should be prepared to answer the same questions over and over, but that you should keep an open, honest line of communication open with your child, so that you can understand what's on their mind and give them reassurance when needed.
Baby Center also explained that you should use clear and concise language when talking about loss, because children have the tendency to take things literally. They also emphasized that along with the importance of making your child feel safe, and secure, you should also make sure that you have the support and help you need to cope, so that you can help your child by helping yourself.
People of faith can use their faith to better explain to their children where they believe their first baby is and what it means to lose a loved one. But all parents, no matter if they are religious or not, can reassure their child that both babies are special and loved, and are important parts of their family.
Deciding how and when to tell their child that they are a rainbow baby is ultimately up to the parent, but telling children how special they are, and how much they are loved, will definitely make everyone feel a little better.