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Newbury Local Schools

A PARENT GUIDE TO A CHILD'S GRIEF AND RESOURCES FOR A GRIEVING CHILD

PARENT GUIDE TO A CHILD’S GRIEF

If your children are old enough to love, then they are old enough to grieve. After the death of someone close to them, children and teens need to know what to expect and how to deal with any troubling thoughts and feelings that may surface. It is important for you to be as open as possible with whatever emotions and questions come up.

 

Just like adults, children and teens have a ‘grieving style’, which may lean towards a task-oriented or an emotion-oriented approach. There is no one right way to grieve.

 

  • Children and teens who are more task-oriented may need to return to old routines or may focus on activities, such as artwork, play or sports. 

 

  • Children and teens who are more emotion-oriented tend to talk more about their feelings. Feelings such as sorrow, anger or fear can sometimes explode in loud or ‘big’ outbursts. It is common for teens to express their emotions to their peers.  You can also encourage them to use a journal or art as beneficial ways to express their thoughts when it is difficult to talk about it.

******************************************************************************What Should I do?

  • Be available to listen.

 

  • Invite your child to come back to you if he or she has more questions or has heard rumors — tell your child you will help get the correct information.

 

  • Understand that it is normal for your child to express grief in brief bursts quickly followed by happier activities.

 

  • Teach your child that they have the ability to “turn off” their grief will provide them the sense of safety to express their grief more fully. 

 

  • Follow routines, they provide a sense of safety and comfort.

 

  • Contact the school after the death and direct school staff about what should be shared and your comfort level with school grief support.

 

  • Identify a safe person the child may talk with at school.

 

  • Watch out for “bad dreams” and behavioral changes at home or school.  Are they occurring often? If you are concerned seek out professional counseling.

 

What Should I Say?
After the death of a loved one, children can ask many questions.   It is okay to say you don’t know the answer to a child’s question. You can even say, “No one knows for sure, but this is what I think.” If the child asks whether you will die, respond that everybody dies someday, but that you hope to live to do things with the family for a long time.  Here are some words that you can use when talking with him or her:

 

 

  • I’m sorry.
  • I know you are sad/angry/in pain
  • This must be a hard time for you
  • I’m ready to listen if you feel like talking.
  • It can be hard to understand why these things happen

 

 

Image result for grief

RESOURCES FOR  A GRIEVING CHILD

Below is a list of resources for you to learn more about what your child may be feeling as part of the grieving process.   However, if you are concerned about your child’s behaviors at either home or school please contact one of the local mental health providers to help make a difference.

Hospice Foundation of America: https://hospicefoundation.org/

Kids Grief: http://kidsgrief.ca/

Psych Central:  https://psychcentral.com/lib/talking-to-your-child-about-the-loss-of-a-loved-one/

                             https://psychcentral.com/lib/tips-for-better-managing-your-stress/

The Dougy Center:   https://www.dougy.org/grief-resources/how-should-i-grieve/

PBS: When Families Grieve:  http://www.pbs.org/parents/whenfamiliesgrieve/resources.html

 

If you need additional support for your child or family, there are many people that can help.   Please feel free to contact the school’s guidance counselor, onsite counseling support or one of the local organizations that specialize in emotional wellness.

 

            Newbury Jr./Sr. High                                                                          Newbury  Elementary School

            Contact: Mr. Michael Chaffee   X501                                                Contact: Mrs. Cynthia Tomassetti

            Contact: Mr. Anthony Forfia      X502                                             Phone: 440-564-2282 X401

            Phone: 440-564-2281                                                                       

 

            Newbury  Superintendent                                                                    Newbury Local Schools

            Contact:  Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes                                                          Contact: Ms. Kaitlin Boyd

            Phone: 440-564-5501 X600                                                                    Phone: 564-5521 X503

 

 

           Ravenwood Health  

           Contact: Intake Dept.

           Phone: 440-285-4552

 

                   Catholic Charities Services

                    Contact: Main Office

                    Phone: 440-285-3537

 

For Mental Health Emergencies, please call the COPELINE at 440-285-5665





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