If you have a teenager that has experienced a serious loss in their life, whether it be a close family member, friend, pet, or teacher, you may be wondering what you can or should do to help them cope with and deal with their grief. Grief can be very difficult for a young adult to handle and if they have never gone through it before, they may feel lost in sadness. There are some steps you can take to help support your teen through their grief process, though. Get to know some of these steps. Then, you can begin providing your child with the support they need moving forward.
Get Them an Individual Counselor
One of the steps you can take when your teen child is struggling with their grief is to get them an individual counselor. Individual counseling services for grief can be highly effective and beneficial. Your teen is old enough to understand logically what happened to their loved one. However, dealing with the emotions attached to that is a whole other issue.
Your child will be able to talk to their counselor in an open and honest way that allows them to vent their feelings in a way they might not be comfortable doing with you or other loved ones. A counselor is unbiased and will not be hurt or offended by what they hear from your teen. This gives your teen a space to talk about their grief and anything else that is bothering them.
Individual counseling can help your teen to identify what they are feeling in their grief as well as come up with ways to cope with those feelings healthily. This can help move them along in the healing process at a healthy and reasonable pace.
Consider a Grief Support Group
Another great option for your teen is to go to a grief support group near them. Many places offer groups specifically for children and teens, though depending on your child's exact age, an adult group may be more appropriate.
In grief support groups, your child will learn that they are not alone. Other people are having the same thoughts and feelings they are having. This can be a comfort in and of itself. Grief support groups also focus on helping people learn to cope with their grief in healthy ways. So, it will serve to reinforce lessons learned in individual counseling or can even help your teen come up with additional coping mechanisms to try out.
Also, be willing to let your teen go to their grief support group alone. They are old enough where this would be appropriate and preferable as they may feel more comfortable opening up without you there.
Now that you know more about grief support, you'll be better able to help your teen through their struggles.