Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Helping Teens With Grief





Teens offer a special challenge when helping them cope with grief or loss. They sometimes push those they love far away, when in fact what they need or want is to be loved and held. Author Jeannette Curtis offers several tips in her article on WebMD titled Key Points To Helping A Teen Through Grief. She states it is important to know what is normal teen behavior, listen and watch, don't force a teen before he or she is ready, and make time for the teen. Check out WebMD to read the rest of her article. I found her information right on target for a teen feeling the loss from the death of a loved one. I also want to remind parents that for a teen, any loss of something they love can cause grief. The death of a pet, divorce, or loss of a friendship can cause a teen to feel deep grief. Allowing the teen time and letting your teen know that you are there for them is vital for healthy recovery. A resource listed on WebMD is http://www.rainbows.org/. It is an international organization where peer support is offered for children and their families who are suffering grief from death, divorce, or other family transition. Check out www.webmd.com/balance/helping-teens-who-are-grieving for the entire article. Also check out http://www.rainbows.org/ to find a local chapter for more resources or to find out how you can train and open a rainbows chapter in your area.

3 comments:

Gayle McCain said...

Terri,

Someone else's grief is not something we can solve, or fix. If we just sit with them, offering whatever love and support we can, when they're ready, it gives them an outlet, a sounding board.

Sometimes they need us to listen, sometimes action is called for, even if it is only to hand them a handkerchief, give a hug, or pick up cat food at the grocery store.

Each of these things is a gift of time. And now-a-days time is often a difficult thing for us to give with our busy lives. But it is essential for someone who is grieving, whether young or old.

Gayle McCain
www.gaylemccain.blogspot.com

terri.forehand said...

Gayle, you have great insight and I absolutely agree with you. Our time, an ear to listen, and a hand to hold are the best gift we can give. Unfortunately, I find that people are uncomfortable when they can't fix someone, so they do nothing at all. I hope through my blog, I can make others more comfortable with the word death and it's consequences.
Blessings,
Terri
terri.forehand@gmail .com

Donna McDine ~ Children's Author said...

Terri...What a valuable article. I agree with Gayle...being there is key. Keep up the great work!

Warm regards,
Donna