grief & loss

ParentTip: Childhood Grief - How You Can Help

Grief can be a difficult process for most people, but it can be especially troublesome for children when they can’t put words to their emotions or feel like no one understands them. Teachers, parents, coaches, uncles - no matter the role, most of us have children in our lives that we care for in some capacity.

While grief can lend itself to feelings of helplessness, there are actually some concrete ways that adults can support children through the grieving process. An article in the Huffington Post suggested that one of the most important things being to accept a child’s feelings and avoid the urge to just ‘cheer them up.’ Easier said than done right? But think for a moment, if you’d lost someone you loved and rather than listen to your thoughts and feelings someone just told you to feel better, wouldn’t you feel a bit dismissed? It’s a very similar experience for children. When a child is angry, sad, or upset your role as a loving adult can normalize those feelings and provide a safe space to work through them. The Coalition of Grieving Students has created a manual for helping children work through the loss of a loved one.

 

More helpful resources can be found below:

What Not to Say

Informing a Child of a Significant Death

TeenTip: The Shared Grief Project

Grief and loss is just as much a natural process of life as joy and happiness. Yet, in hard times, it’s easy to feel isolated or misunderstood. Sound familiar?

Grief can take many shapes too. Whether as common as not making the basketball team or as devastating as losing a loved one. No matter what has you feeling down, know that you’re not alone. In fact, there are countless others who have felt what you’re feeling and grief can actually be a way to connect with others.

The mission of the Shared Grief Project envisions a world where no child grieves alone. Through the brave sharing of stories, children can feel connected to others’ experiences with heartbreak, disappointment, and loss. Sometimes even telling your story can help not only you, but someone else through their tough time.

For more resources on discussing your grief or caring for someone who is grieving visit: http://sharedgrief.org/resources/