How to Help a Grieving Adolescent

As parents and loved ones wonder how to help a grieving adolescent, the first thing they can do is avoid taking control of the grief.  The grieving process is deeply personal and different for every teenager.  Supporting a teenager through this process is not at all easily.  It involves a long time spent listening.  It can be very difficult for supporters to spend long hours listening to sad things.  After a while, there can be an overwhelming temptation to give advice or to decide that the teenager has had enough time and now they should “just get over it”.  An effective parent or friend will be a sounding board for as long as it takes.

 

Supporters can help by being aware of the signs that the grieving process may be taking an unhealthy direction.  This can manifest in symptoms such as excessive sleeping, restlessness, or a sudden drop in self-esteem.  Grieving teenagers will show the classic signs of depression, including losing interest in normal activities such as schoolwork, in relationships with their friends, or spending time doing the things they normally love to do.  This is the time when loved ones can gently steer the grieving adolescent in a positive direction, to encourage them to maintain their normal schedule, and to give them room when they are sad.  Perhaps the best way to know how to help a grieving adolescent is for caregivers to remember their own times of loss.  They can remember how they were helped through that difficult period.

Categories: Grieving
This post was written by , posted on November 22, 2014 Saturday at 11:45 am

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