Things Parents Can Do to Help Grieving Teens

Portrait of a teenage boy
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A part of the circle of life is the ending of it. While some deaths are expected and some are not, all have an impact on the family and friends of the one who has died. Teens will need their parents help when dealing with grief as much as they needed their help when learning how to walk. Here are five things a parent can do to help a grieving teen:

  1. Allow the teen to grieve for as longs as he wants to grieve. While for parents it can double the hurt of your own grief to see your son or daughter hurting, you need to allow them to feel the hurt as the only healthy way to get through this hard time is to go through it. Having a healthy grieving time will allow your teen to come to feel the acceptance of the loss and give him the ability to remember the loved one without the hurt.
  1. Understand their loss extends past the death of a loved one. Teens are learning where their place is in this vast world. The loss of a loved one shakes up a teen’s understanding of the world around him. This is especially true of teens who lose peers in accidents and similar losses.
  2. Establish or maintain healthy constructive habits and routines. This will help your teen feel normal and safe. It will remind him of the firm and loving foundation his family offers.
  3. Encourage your teen to reach out for something bigger than himself. Group counseling services, youth group activities, talking with his minister, etc. All of these things have one thing in common, they allow your teen to see a connection between him and the bigger world around him. He will come to understand that he is not alone in this world and others have gone through these hard times too.
  4. Watch for the serious warning signs of depression. If you find your teen is having problems beyond grieving or you are unable to help your teen because you are grieving, please call your doctor for information on services in your local area and follow through by attending them.

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