* Adapted from Grief Speaks * Talking about the deceased or loss a lot or not talking about the deceased or loss at all. (Some children initially act like everything is fine) * Asking numerous questions or not asking any questions * Wanting to hear the story of the loss over and over or not wanting to hear anything about the loss * Wishing to be with the deceased (be careful not to jump to the conclusion that a child or teen is necessarily suicidal, but don't ignore the possibility either) * http://www.griefspeaks.com http://www.griefspeaks.com
* Engaging attention by talking a lot, saying silly things, being the class clown * Mentioning nighttime dreams about the person who died * Talking about having "seen" or "felt" the person who died * Voicing fears of almost everything and anything * Voicing worries about safety, other people getting sick or dying * Voicing worries about being abandoned
Adapted from Grief Speaks * oceans of tears * crying at unexpected times * having strong feelings about seemingly small things * over-reacting to a situation * inability to concentrate or focus * noncompliance with adults * needing to be near an adult all the time
* being angry at everyone and everything * seeing someone and believing it is the person who died * forgetfulness * lowered self esteem * irritability * Clowning * Fear of being abandoned/orphaned
* eating a lot/ not eating much * sleeping a lot/not sleeping * urine and bowel accidents * pains in the stomach and other areas unexplained by physician * non-serious, recurrent illnesses such as colds, sore throats, and headaches.
* older children regressing: clinging, wanting to do babyish things such as suck a bottle, play with dolls * aggressive behavior such as hitting, pinching * needing to touch people frequently * weariness and fatigue, even with enough sleep * wanting to rip and destroy things
* Children and Teens under age of 19 * Completed by National Alliance for Grieving Children in person surveys at grieving centers during group sessions * 531 in the study * Four Key Findings * 2011-2012 NYL Study 2011-2012 NYL Study
After the death of a parent, children experience a wide range of tangled emotions—sadness, anger, loneliness, confusion, or guilt. Three-quarters of the children surveyed said they currently feel sad— the number one emotion by a factor of two.
* 45% of the children surveyed said it’s harder to concentrate in school after their loved one’s death * More than a quarter said they don’t do as well. * When asked to grade their school and teachers on “helping me deal with my loved one’s death,” almost half (48%) assigned them a “C” or lower.
* Even as they struggle with grief’s burden, most kids set their sights on living a normal life and carry considerable hope for the future. * Two thirds of the children surveyed say they continue to enjoy life and have fun * Just as many express the wish to “be treated like everyone else”.
* Kids say spending time with friends and family is particularly helpful in dealing with the death of their loved one. * But some family, friends, and community members back away. * Over half the kids we talked to said, “talking to friends about loss is hard.”
Worrisome Behaviors Complicated Reactions * Journal of Death & Dying* attach to file Journal of Death & Dying* attach to file * Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
* dangerous risk taking * self destructive behaviors * threatening to hurt self or others * violent play * total withdrawal from people and environment
* a dramatic change in personality or functioning over a long period of time * any of the "normal" behaviors happening over a very long time or to an extreme moves this into a more complicated reaction.
* Intensity and duration of reactions * Impairment of normal functions * In one study most (48%) experts recommended seeking help at 6 months, if conditions persist. 36% recommended seeking help after 3 months.
* Preschoolers and school-aged children: * 1. exaggerated fears; * 2. major disruptions in attachment with care taker(s); * 3. traumatic play; and * 4. persistent regression.
* Pre-adolescents and adolescents: * 1. risk behaviors; * 2. suicidal ideation; * 3. inability to create a story about the loss event; and * 4. disinvestment in or negative view of the future, inability to set goals.
* In one study most (48%) experts recommended seeking help at 6 months, if conditions persist. * 36% recommended seeking help after 3 months * Only 4 % said professional help is needed after 1 month * 16% said they would wait as long as 12 months
* Peers * Family * Teachers * Community * Professionals
What to Say * Share stories… remember when * Invite them for dinner, to play, keep the invitations coming * Let them vent --- listen * Offer to go to talk to the school counselor with them What NOT to Say * I know how you feel * At least he’s in a better place * Don’t cry * Be strong for your mom * God never gives us more than we can handle * Find closure * It will get easier * It could be worse… http://whatsyourgrief.com When asked what the most helpful things were after the death of their family member, 59% said spending time with friends. – National Poll of Bereaved Children and Teenagers
* Help them get out of the house * Invite them to go with * Listen to them vent * Create an opportunity for a ritual activities * Pick up on cues * Share stories * Let them know you care “After a Loved One Dies — How Children Grieve and how parents and other adults can support them” When asked what the most helpful things were after the death of their family member, 55% said spending time with family. 71% said that the adult(s) they live with gave help and support to them after the death, with 43% also saying that the adult in their life spent enough time with them. - National Poll of Bereaved Children and Teenagers
* THE GRADE KIDS GIVE THEIR SCHOOLS/TEACHERS ON HELPING THEM DEAL WITH THEIR LOVED ONE’S DEATH: * A 29% * B 23% * C 15% * D 10% * F 23% * Let them know you care * Listen and be present * Don’t be afraid to engage with the child * It is okay to ask how they are doing – be prepared for a myriad of answers * Understand the grieving process
* Child Care * Faith based groups * Grief Groups – peer counseling
* Medical Doctors * Play Therapists * Grief Counsellors * Grief groups * Psychologists * Psychiatrists
* Camp ERIN Camp ERIN * Comfort Zone Camp Comfort Zone Camp * National Alliance for Grieving Children National Alliance for Grieving Children * New York Life Foundation New York Life Foundation * The Moyer Foundation The Moyer Foundation * Children’s Grief Education Assoc. Children’s Grief Education Assoc. * Scholastic Scholastic * National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement * Camp Courage Camp Courage * Military Child Education Coalition Military Child Education Coalition * The Doug Center National Center for Grieving Children & Families The Doug Center
* New York Life Article & Stories for Educators New York Life Article & Stories for Educators * National Alliance for Grieving Children National Alliance for Grieving Children * Bill of Rights of Grieving Teens Bill of Rights of Grieving Teens * HelloGrief.org HelloGrief.org * KidsAid.com KidsAid.com
“The Invisible String” Link to screen cast Journaling Drawings: My Favorite Memory Chain of Caring PeopleMood Faces