There are numerous therapies to help children better communicate their grief. They can express through multiple outlets of creativity to help them express the grief and issues that haunt them. Counselors can help children through a variety of methods.
Children react to loss differently than adults and even more so within their particular ages of development. It is important for Grief Counselors and other mental health professionals to have a thorough understanding of how children deal and cope with loss.
The American Academy of Grief’s Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Program reviews the important elements of Child Grief Counseling. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Child Grief Counseling. Please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals
Please also review AIHCP’s Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Program video below
Teens go through a variety of changes. Physically, emotionally and socially, changes affect teens. It is of no surprise then, that many teens suffer from depression or anxiety due to the many stresses that fall upon them. Parents need to be alert and aware of their teen’s moods and problems. Good parenting demands inspection of one’s teen and to ask them questions about their day. When these things are neglected, issues such as anxiety or depression can emerge unchecked.
The article, “Teens, anxiety, and depression: How worried should parents be?” from Boston’s Children Hospital takes a closer look at how parents can notice depression or anxiety in their teen. The article states,
“Having a strong connection with an adult helps protect teens against anxiety and depression. This relationship could be with a parent, but it might not be. Depression and anxiety come with an enormous amount of shame and self-blame. Teens who feel this way may push their parents away. If so, parents can help their child cultivate a connection with a trusted adult, such as a coach, school counselor, or the parent of a friend.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Child Grief Counseling.
Miscarriages are sometimes a forgotten grief. Parents suffer greatly who lose a child due to miscarriage. It is unseen, and sometimes unknown, so the ability to find support can be difficult. Both husband and wife share in the pain but many times the born children are left in the dark regarding the lost. Children need to be explanations if a miscarriage occurs.
These explanations need to be age appropriate. They also need to ensure the child knows there is no blame for the loss but that sometimes these things can happen.
The article, “How To Talk To Kids About Miscarriage” by Jessica Zucker takes a closer look and on how to discuss the loss during miscarriage to children. She states,
“Much like conversations centering around divorce or a parent separation, it’s common for children to immediately blame themselves for a pregnancy or infant loss. This is primarily due to their cognitive development, which leave them centering themselves and/or only seeing things through their perspectives. So it’s vital that throughout the conversation, and perhaps even at the start, you remind your child that they are in no way responsible for any pregnancy outcome, especially one that ends in a loss. And, that it’s not the fault of the mom either.”
Please also review The American Academy of Grief’s Grief Counseling Program as well as its Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Certification and see if they meet your professional and academic needs. The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
When a family loss strikes, parents and children grieve together, however, both grieve differently. Bad grieving habits can leave the children forgotten or left to wonder. It is critical to share positive grieving habits and also understand the needs of the child during the period of loss. Children grieve differently than adults so it is also critical to understand how children process loss. Parenting and grieving at the same time is one of the most difficult situations because the parent is trying to recover while help one’s child.
The article, “How to cope with grief when your kids are grieving, too” by Dr Ashwini Lal reviews how parents can grieve and help their children grieve. She states,
“Children, as they are going through the developmental process, will naturally have a different grief experience than adults. Depending on their age, children will need guidance with respect to the grieving process. Talking openly with them is a good way to model that it is okay to discuss grief and emotions. Their grief can be intermittent, meaning that you may notice they feel sad one moment and the next they are playing joyfully with their friends.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Program and also for those already certified in Grief Counseling, AIHCP’s Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Certification. The program is designed for certified Grief Counselors and other qualified professionals.
Teenage years can be confusing. Bodily changes, emotional swings, and mental challenges all come upon the teen at once. With all of these changes, comes life changes and new adaptations to Highschool and early adulthood. These things can lead teens to be very moldable and sensitive to others and peer pressure. With these changes, teens can have low self esteem and poor body image if they are not encouraged and complimented. These poor images can later in life also re-emerge in depression in adult life.
The article, “Teens with negative body image may experience depression as adults, study finds” by Kristen Rogers looks at this connection. She states,
“Adolescence is fraught with stressful changes, and the developing body can be one of those challenges, especially if a teen’s body doesn’t meet society’s — or that teen’s — standards. Negative body image can threaten mental health, according to new research that found teenagers who were dissatisfied with their bodies tended to experience depression as adults.”
Children grieve and process loss differently than adults. This a critically important concept for all grief counselors to grasp in their understanding of helping children deal with grief. Children depending on their age as well as mental and emotional maturity all process grief differently. Understanding this key concept can prevent numerous errors in child development when helping a child a through the process of grief.
In the past, emotional and mental barriers to development of children were innocently but ignorantly created by concerned caregivers seeking to shield children from loss. Children were denied final farewells at death scenes, or prevented from attending a funeral. Hiding death, even that of a family pet as simple as a fish, were all considered important steps in protecting a child’s innocence from death.
In reality, sparing children the realities of death, or diminishing the event of death caused more damage to the mental and emotional development of children. Children would then inherit improper coping mechanisms as adults when dealing with loss. They would also have grief complications with past losses. The inability to say good bye, find closure, or fully understand the nature of the loss crippled their abilities to deal with grief as adults.
In preventing these issues, adults, caregivers and grief counselors need to address loss to children. An explanation of the loss should correlate with the understanding and mental maturity of the child regarding the finality of death. Death and loss should be seen as opportunities for the child to learn about death, especially in regards to smaller losses.
In dealing with these losses, caregivers should express death clearly without any figurative language and also encourage children to express their feelings and thoughts. If a child wishes to express that is fine and if a child wishes to express less, that is fine. The importance is that children are able to express their feelings and know that life will continue.
It is critical to allow children to express themselves as they fit not only for their own understanding but also to dismiss any ill thoughts regarding the loss that may fester within the child. Children sometimes can blame themselves for the death of an individual or hold guilt that most adults would dismiss. It is hence important to discuss the death clearly but also to have a full understanding of the child’s understanding of the loss in relationship to him or her.
By responding uniquely to each child’s need during a loss based on the child’s understanding, one can eliminate any possible grief complications and also allow the child to fully express him or herself. This enables a better transition mentally, socially and emotionally.
To learn more how to speak to and understand grieving children, then please review AICHP’s Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Program. The program is open to currently certified Grief Counselors and is offered as an advanced specialty program. Those who meet the qualifications can become certified in this advanced specialty field and learn to better help children cope with loss and grief.
Children grieve differently. Depending on their age, children have different mental ideals on death. As they grow certain ideas change due to experiencing others die, from a simple goldfish or rabbit to a grandparent. Children struggle with ideas such as universality, irreversibility, non functionality, and causality. Eventually, some understand everything dies, that once someone or something has died it does not return, that bodily functions such as breathing end at death, and that only certain things cause death, not unrelated issues.
Children hence need to be guided through a death event differently pending on their age and maturity in regards to their understanding of basic death concepts.
The article, “Helping children with grief” from WGU Ohio, presents an indepth look at death and how to present death to a children. The article states,
“Particularly when it comes to coping with death, children have a unique way of processing and dealing with their grief. Oftentimes the first step to helping children grieve is ensuring that they understand the concept of death, and that there aren’t lingering misconceptions”
Shootings and other traumatic incidents are becoming more common in society. One was once something that only happened in other parts of the world are now happening in America. Shootings at schools or public places create an intense trauma for children. How children are able to cope after a shooting will be pivotal for the rest of their lives. It is crucial to understand the nature of trauma after a public shooting and how to talk to children.
Whether the children or involved or witness it on television or the media, it is crucial as parents, educators and counselors to be able to better help children understand what occurred and how it affects them. It is critical after such an event to ensure the children they are safe. It is important to explain what happened and to be open to any questions. It is as best especially with younger children to try to ensure a continuance of routine but still be open to questions and reassurances of safety.
Many children after such severe traumatic events may exhibit a variety of issues. Some may exhibit irregular sleep patterns and nightmares. Others may exhibit more severe anxiety, or outbursts of emotion ranging from anger to sadness. Others may become more introverted. New fears may also emerge. It is critical for parents and educators to monitor children after a traumatic event to see if any of these issues arise.
The article, “Guide to Coping After Mass Trauma: School Grief Counseling Techniques” from Bradley University looks closer at the symptoms of post trauma as well as immediate aftermath response. The article states,
“The triggering event for trauma may be as widely shared as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or as personal as witnessing or surviving a major traffic accident. Regardless of the source of the trauma, children and adolescents need support and understanding as they work through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.”
Grief counseling for children is essential for children who face trauma. Some children may require more indepth counseling from Licensed Professional Counselors as well. Trauma scars the mind but with proper guidance and coping methods, children can be guided through the process and find strength and security. Not acknowledging trauma is the worst thing anyone can do. Please also review our Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
Teen depression and mental disorders are on the rise. Parents need to be vigilant in determining if their teen is displaying signs of depression. This can be difficult distinguishing between regular teen behavior and true pathological symptoms. If something usually seems out of the normal schedule resulting in prolonged irritability, fatigue and rogue statements, then it may be time to investigate further and see if your teen is suffering from depression.
The article, “Keep your teen moving to reduce risk of depression, study says” by Sandee LaMotte looks at the importance of keeping your teen active. She states,
“According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents around the world, accounting for “16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10 to 19 years.””
Please also review our Grief Counseling program in Child Adolescent Grief Counseling and see if it meets your professional and academic needs. The program is for professionals who are already certified in Grief Counseling but looking to specialize in children and teen grief behavior.