Grief Counseling for Children
When children are grieving they process thoughts differently than adults or young adults. We would like to share some of the guidelines and common ideas that can help us to help a child when they are grieving.
Tips for Helping a Grieving Child
- Listen – While it sounds obvious, many people will avoid bringing up the subject; thinking that doing so will make the child sad. If a child wants to talk, listen and if you don’t have the answers it’s okay to tell them that you don’t know the answer; but then you can contact a professional to find out if there is an answer to their question(s).
- Let Them Make Their Own Journey – Don’t try to create a path for your child to follow; but instead, let them determine how they want to work towards understanding and eventually healing from their pain. There is no particular “map” and every child needs to be in charge of their own journey.
- Behaviors – Learn, from a professional, what behaviors could be expected and why. Some behaviors will be common for children, while some others may be a signs for concern.
- Remember, Children Are Not Adults – It is so important to understand that a child’s brain does not think, comprehend, or process information like an adult brain; which means that their reactions are usually much different and even follow a different time-line than adults.
Professional Help for Bereavement
Children and teens can benefit from special programs and interactions geared towards healthy grieving. Above and Beyond offers a free Youth Grief Camp geared specifically towards helping children and teens deal with the death of a loved one. Check our Bereavement Page for camp dates and online registration forms regularly as they will appear in conjunction with the latest camps offered.
Above and Beyond’s Approach to Grief Counseling for Children
We work with you to ensure that your child is able to continue in the right direction of healing and hope for the future. Above and Beyond Bereavement Therapy will benefit you and your grieving children/child in a number of ways:
- Exploring feelings of grief
- Healthy expression of grief
- Focusing on the future
- Understanding the process of grieving and healing
- Coping with grief
- Dispelling myths about grief
- Social interaction with others who are grieving
- Books, DVDs, worksheets, and other resource suggestions
Death is not easy for anyone; but it can be an especially difficult for children. Professional grief counseling can be helpful for anyone who has lost a loved one.
Wolfelt, Alan D.; A Child’s View of Grief: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Counselors. Fort Collins: Companion Press, 2004 Print
Hansen-Spear Funeral Home; Quincy, IL
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