Perspectives on Grieving
When a mass tragedy, such as a school shooting or bombing occurs, children will often feel scared. Some have many questions for adults. Others say very little, leaving adults wondering what they know or understand. Caring adults may feel a huge sense of responsibility to protect their children as well as insecurity about what to say to them. Here are some basic ideas to keep in mind when talking to children about violence:
After searching in card stores and online for sympathy cards designed for children and teens and not finding any, Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss decided to make its own. Find beautifully made cards by children for children in our online store.
There are multiple factors that affect the way children grieve. Developmental age is one factor that may influence children’s behaviors. Based off developmental age and what that brings, we have some suggestions for adults to consider when their child or a child they know is experiencing grief. Some recommendations are universal across ages, such as the inclusion of infants, children and adolescents…
We have seen adults go to extreme lengths to keep children from experiencing negative emotions, like anger, sadness, confusion, and anxiety. We hear such stories on TV – they can be almost comical, like the always popular “replacing the dead fish with a new one” storyline or the “the dog lives on a farm now” plot - but in the end the adults usually have to tell the truth, the difficult stuff is glossed over, and the episode ends with a group hug.
“My husband is going to die and I have no idea how to tell our three year old daughter.” This sentence comes speeding through the receiver the moment I pick up the phone. If this were my private phone line then perhaps this would seem strange, but it’s not. It’s my work line at Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, where calls like this happen fairly often.
Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives
Though this is not the typical response to bullies, Imagine Clinical Training Director Connie Palmer, LCSW, has seen this approach work very effectively. We believe this can really help if your child, or you, is being bullied. Connie teaches about bullying and grief and loss in schools and in the community. This article was written in support of and response to our favorite colleagues and awesome writers at the What's Your Grief Blog on Grief and Bullying.
We are big, big fans of the blog and website "What's Your Grief." Their latest blog contains 9 tips on how to support your child in going back to school if they have experienced a death in their lifeover the summer, or even further back. All of their tips are spot on, but we would just one more. Tip # 10: Look for peer grief support groups in your community. With over 500 free childrens grief support centers throughout the U.S. its more than likely you'll find one nearby. This can be the most helpful thing for your child...discovering they are not alone and that what they are feeling is normal. Grief is a normal, natural response to loss. Click HERE for the full article.
Carli Maron sang the opening song, Home, with her fellow teen group participant Alana Hammond, both of Westfield, at our 4th annual Imagine a World Breakfast.
Grief can be complicated, and there are several things we need to remember when we are going through it or helping someone in the throes of it.