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Grief in Children By: Glenda K. Lane & Phillip N. Lambert Jr.

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Presentation on theme: "Grief in Children By: Glenda K. Lane & Phillip N. Lambert Jr."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grief in Children By: Glenda K. Lane & Phillip N. Lambert Jr.

2 Objective: To cover the effects of grief as it concerns children, especially individuals who have experienced the loss of one or both parents. We will also look at the many resources and techniques for coping with grief and how Social Workers are a vital part of the process. Imagery Intro

3 What is Grieving? Grieving is the process of emotional and life adjustment you go through after a loss. Grieving after a loved one's death is also known as bereavement. Grieving is a personal experience.

4 Symptoms of Grief Be alert for children exhibiting these reactions: Aggressive behavior Withdrawal, or very passive behavior Changes in eating or sleeping patterns Prolonged periods of weeping Changes in school grades Symptoms associated with the illness or injury of the deceased Repeated expressions of guilt or fear You may want to seek help if these reactions are persistent and ongoing. Clip from Hide and Seek

5 Developmental Stages of Grief The way a child understands death varies according to their age and developmental level. –BIRTH TO THREE YEARS –THREE TO FIVE YEARS –SIX TO NINE YEARS –NINE TO TWELVE YEARS –ADOLESCENCE

6 Developmental Stages cont… BIRTH TO THREE YEARS: Even infants grieve. –"Children feel, even if they do not understand. Understanding comes later … the feelings need a hug" Doug Manning THREE TO FIVE YEARS: Children at this age don't accept death as a permanent process. SIX TO NINE YEARS: Children begin to grasp the concept of death and understand that the person will never come back. NINE TO TWELVE YEARS: Children begin to understand that death is an inevitable part of living and that death may come earlier than expected. ADOLESCENCE: Most teenagers have an adult level of understanding about death.

7 Stages of Grieving I. Stage One: Shock, denial, isolation II. Stage Two: Anger III. Stage Three: Bargaining IV. Stage Four: Depression V. Stage Five: Acceptance

8 Treatment Methods for Grieving Three common Treatment Methods: Home Treatment Medications Counseling

9 Home Treatment Get enough rest and sleep. During sleep, your mind makes sense of what is happening in your life. Not getting enough rest and sleep can lead to physical illness and exhaustion. Try to incorporate a routine nap into the child’s schedule. Exercise. If nothing else, take a walk with the child. This and other forms of exercise, such as swimming can help release some of their pent-up emotions. Maintain the child’s normal activities. Staying involved in activities that include church, dance, sports, or clubs, may help them as they grieve. Give the child a journal.

10 Home Treatment Cont. Some guided questions to help with their journaling are: My favorite memory of my mom/dad is... During the holidays we... I had a _____ for a pet. His name was ___. He looked like ___. We used to ___. The meal I loved the most at home was... My best friend is... I feel ____ today. I wish I could... If I could grow up to be anything in the world it would be a... My favorite song/TV show is... We used to _____ as a family every weekend. My mom/dad's laughter sounds like... I miss... I want... School is... I am a ____ person.

11 Medications Grief itself is a natural response that doesn't require medical treatment. Sometimes, however, people need help getting through the grieving process, especially when these people are children! Sedative medication: –If the child suffers for more than a few days of SEVERE agitation, talk to your health professional about whether a short-term prescription sedative medication can help them. Common Medications used to aide in grief relief are: Celexa Paxil Prozac Zoloft

12 Counseling You can talk to a grief counselor/Social Worker, attend a bereavement support group, or both. According to an article from “The Child and Adolescence Social Work Journal,” group therapy is one of the best methods to help children cope with the death of a parent.


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