The ultimate fear of any parent is to discover a school shooting at one’s child’s school. This fear does not subside afterwards for many, even the survivors. Many children need counseling for trauma and parents have to learn how to help their child through that trauma.
The article, “Dealing With Trauma: How To Best Support Your Child After A School Shooting” by ADHITI BANDLAMUDI discusses this and how to help your child. The article states,
“In the wake of the shooting at the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, parents all over the country are struggling with difficult conversations about safety at school. One student was killed and eight were injured. Hundreds more lived through the terrifying experience of a shooting at their school.”
Children can become fascinated with the concept of death at a young age. Many children are influenced by magical thinking and cannot conceptualize the permanence of death. Other children come into contact with death usually with the loss of a small pet such as a fish or hamster.
The article, “Why Do 4-Year-Olds Love Talking About Death?” by Jessica Grose looks at this curious interest. The article states,
“When our older daughter was 4, it seemed like she was asking us about death constantly. These questions were apropos of nothing; we hadn’t had a death in the family or lost a pet. What was jarring was her matter-of-fact tone.”
Healthcare professionals need to understand the nature and grief of children. Children grieve differently and need guidance. Certified Child and Adolescent Grief Counselors can help in this process.
Some may already be licensed counselors, others may be social workers or health care providers, but a certification in Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling is a useful tool in helping grieving children.
The article, “When Children Grieve: 10 Important Points for Youth Welfare Professionals” by Irene Searles McClatchey looks at important aspects of child grief. The article states,
“The following 10 tips for helping grieving children and teens and their caregivers derive from my own practice with bereaved children. I have held healing camps for children and adolescents bereaved of a parent or sibling three to four times a year for the past 24 years. Over this time span it has become evident that children need to have their grief acknowledged and a space to have their feelings listened to.”
Interesting article on experiencing grief at a young age and how it affects one in adulthood.
The article, “Tragedy, magical thinking, and the lasting impact of grief” by Geraldine de Brit looks at a tragic loss of her mother and sibling in an accident and how she felt and adapted through the years.
The article states,
“Even now, 42 years later, this event still has the ability to feel unreal, like it must have been a mistake and I ask myself, “ how could it have happened? How could I not have seen them in all this time?” In such moments it can even feel like they might still come back, like I am leading an interim life until they do.”
Those who experience more loss when young have different outlooks on life. Youthful grieving takes a toll but also prepares one for life and how to cope. It can also though if not handled correctly, cause future grieving problems. Hence it is important to help the young grieve properly.
The article,7 Ways Grieving When You’re Young Changes You, According To Experts, by Lindsey Mack states,
Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult at any age. But for children who experience grief at a young age, the effects of this loss may continue into adulthood. There are quite a few ways grieving when you’re young changes you in general.
It is very heartbreaking to see one’s child grieve. Helping children overcome grief is an important task of any parent or relative. Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling Training can also help parents and friends better understand the nature of grief in children.
The article, “Tips on what to do when a child experiences death and grief” by LOH SIT FONG states.
Losing someone or something we love is part of life. As adults, we are mature and experienced enough to understand this. However, grief and sorrow may be something a child has never experienced before.
To read the entire article, please click here
Sometimes it is difficult to discuss with children the dangerous nature of the world. Explaining tragic accidents and why people die is one of those difficult conversations. It is important to learn how to communicate loss and grief to children.
The article, “How to talk with your children about tragic accidents” by Sarah Guernelli states,
In a tragic loss such as the one that occurred Wednesday afternoon, local health specialist told Western Mass News that talking with your children about a situation like this is important.
To read the entire article and watch the video, please click here
Also to learn more about helping children through grief and learning how to communicate with them, please review our program. AIHCP’s program in Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling gives certified grief counselors the chance to learn more about counseling children through bereavement.
Play therapy has always been a beneficial tool in helping children in counseling. Expressing grief is no different. Children are able to express grief and trauma through play. A counselor is then able to help the child express the grief in a productive way through play therapy.
The article, How play therapy can help children heal, by Karen Marley looks at the benefits of play therapy. She states,
“Play therapy is an evidence-based practice that helps a child build a greater sense of self. When engaged in play therapy, a child uses his or her entire self – mind and body – to express unconscious fears, thoughts, wishes and feelings.”
AIHCP offers a certification in Child and Adolescent Grief Counseling which can help prepare counselors for dealing with child grief. Please review our full Grief Counseling Training and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.
Dealing with grief in schools is a big issue as more and more shootings and tragedies occur in our nation. Schools do not always have the resources or grief counselors on hand to help students overcome grief.
The article, “Schools fall short when it comes to helping grieving students” by David Schonfeld states,
“An adolescent experiences the death of his mother after a lengthy illness. When I ask what services he would like to receive from the school, he initially says he didn’t expect special treatment, would be embarrassed by counseling from the school mental health staff and wouldn’t feel comfortable if many of his teachers asked to talk to him about his grief.”
A very important part of teaching children to grieve and ensuring they grieve healthy is allowing children a chance to say good bye to a loved one. If a loved one is dying, the children need an appropriate time and place,according to their maturity, to be able to properly express themselves and say good bye to a loved one. Please also review our Child Grief Counseling Certification.
The article, Give kids a chance to say goodbye, states
“Should parents take their children to visit a relative or loved one in a hospital or hospice? Death and dying can be scary and uncomfortable subjects, so parents may shy away from them.”
Despite these concerns, the article, as well as the American Academy of Grief Counseling encourages parents to face the fear and allow their child to see the dying person. It is critically important for the child’s development to understand the nature of death but also to be able to express him or herself in a positive way. This ultimately prevents future issues that he or she may face as a young adult with guilt or regret.
It is very important for children to be able to understand death and to express themselves. Please also review our Child Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic or professional needs.