When you have a teenage family member who’s grieving the loss of a family member or even a friend, it can be difficult to know how to handle things as a parent.
You want to be there for them and you want to support them, but the best way of doing that is not always as clear as you might wish it was.
We’re going to talk about some of the approaches you can take and a few things to keep in mind, so read on.
Be Honest yet Careful when Talking to Them
It’s important to be honest with them about what happened if there are questions they have. But you also need to be careful with your language.
During times like these, things are often tense and challenging, and your words will have a big impact on your teen. If you phrase things insensitively and fail to think before you speak, the consequences might not be positive.
Explore Additional Support
There’s plenty of additional support out there for teens who are going through this challenging and testing experience.
It’s important to consider those options and discuss them openly with your son or daughter if you feel they might benefit from them.
There are all kinds of grief counselling services available and talking to an impartial professional might really help your teen.
Recognize it’s Not a Problem if They Turn to Their Friends
It’s often the case that when teenagers go through something like this, they choose to turn to their friends rather than their family members.
This isn’t something to worry about; it’s simply the way of coping that they’ve chosen and it could be what they find most comfortable. There’s not necessarily anything to be concerned about, as long you make it clear that you’re there for them too.
Offer them Some Normality and Routine
Teenagers often crave normality and routine at times like this, even if they don’t say it outwardly and openly. Offering them that is one of your jobs as a parent and you should certainly try to. Of course, things won’t be normal for a while, but maintaining routines and talking about normal things really can have an impact.
Find Ways to Remember the Person Who’s Passed Together as a Family
It’s important that your teen child has the chance to remember and memorialize the person who has passed away in some manner. Whether that means making sure that the gravesite is set up in the right way, making use of things such as bronze headstones, or creating new traditions that allow you all to keep the person who’s passed away in mind going forward. Discuss this with them.
There are no easy answers when it comes to helping your child get through the grieving process.
Trusting you can make the most of the things we’ve discussed here and find an approach that works best for them. As mentioned above, additional support is out there if you’re not sure how to help your teen.
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