The passing of a loved one is one of the most distressing things to experience at any age. For teenagers, it could well be the first time they’ve had to deal with death, and this can be particularly hard. Coping with grief isn’t easy and it’s even harder trying to be there for your teen when you’re suffering from the loss yourself. Here are a few ways you can help them get through it.
Get back to your normal routine
It’s better to try to get back to normal. It’s been shown that routines are good for teens in many ways. They help them to feel more at ease and able to focus on their studies and other activities. Without getting back to your normal routine your teen might feel singled out, and that other people are noticing this as well. Let them see their friends, but stick to the same house rules as usual.
Be honest with them
Teenagers are old enough to be able to understand death so it’s no use trying to protect them from it. This will only lead to them resenting you. Be honest with them about what’s happened. If the tragedy happened to someone close to them you could allow them to be more involved in funeral plans such as giving a eulogy or choosing funeral cremation urns and other decorations. Use your discretion depending on the situation.
Follow their lead
It’s important at all times to try to understand their needs by following their lead. Be there for them when they want to talk about it, rather than forcing them to. People deal with grief in different ways so it’s not always possible to predict how they’re going to react. Let them have some space to cope with what’s happened in their own way, and make sure they’re aware that you’re there for them whenever they need you.
Let them do something
If they decide to do something active to cope with their grief then this could be beneficial. There are several creative ways to honor someone’s memory such as planting a tree or a trip to their favorite location. Both adults and teenagers alike cope with grief by doing something, so if your teen has any creative ideas let them channel their grief into an activity. This could be anything from creating a photo album or collage to volunteering in the local community.
Seek professional advice
Coping with grief can be challenging so don’t be afraid to seek professional advice. There are plenty of online resources available as well to help with grief. If your teen is struggling to cope you could look into counseling services or group sessions. Ensure you deal with the matter with tact and delicacy. Speak to an advisor yourself first to get a professional opinion. They will be able to offer the best solution. Dealing with the passing of a loved one is difficult for everyone involved so remember to focus on your own self-care as well.