- Remember grief is a journey and process and needs to take time to heal after a loss.
- Let children and teens grieve in their own way. There is no set way to grieve it is a journey and a process that is individual.
- Check in regularly – help them to feel connected and cared about.
- Comfort them in the toughest times with hugs, making time for tears, encouragement or just being there.
- Telling them they need to “get over it now” or “move on” will only make them feel more alone and prolong the grief. Giving them a place to express it will help them to feel better
- Teenagers in particular will often express their grief through irritability or anger. Help them to express this in healthy ways, talk about how it’s normal to be feeling like that, and help them finds ways to express it without hurting others or themselves.
- Recognise when they need their own space
- Help them to keep normal routines going as much as possible.
- Encourage them to keep connected with others. Include them and keep offering invitations, even if they’re declining things
- Offer practical help, like driving them somewhere, fixing something broken or sorting something out for them.
- Help them take a break from grief. You could watch a movie, watch a comedy on TV, listen to music, help make opportunities for them to hang out with friends or play sport together.
- If you are grieving too, make sure you have space for your own grief, make sure you are accessing support for yourself.
- It’s ok to share your grief with your children/teens it’s healthy to show your grief just assure them you can still be there to support them and keep them safe and provided
- If you’re concerned about how intensely grief is affecting them, encourage them, or offer to take them, to see a professional who can support them too. There are counsellors at the school and in our community who can support. The school, GP’s, and the Community House can all help with accessing professional support.
More information can be accessed through the school at the library in the foyer of the school office and through the School Health Team (Counsellors and Social worker).
The following link is a podcast of Maree Haworth (Raglan Counsellor/Therapist) speaking of how to work through grief and trauma. https://archive.org/details/MareeGriefRichardKeremeta160215
Skylight is a very helpful NZ website with resources on Grief and Trauma http://skylight.org.nz/About+Grief