How to Help Your Teenager Deal with Grief

How to Help your Teenager Deal with Grief

When a teenager experiences grief, it can be difficult to know how to help.

It's important to remember that everyone deals with grief differently, so each person will need different support from you.

Grief is a challenging experience for everyone, however, teenagers sometimes need a different approach when communicating.

Here is a process for you to communicate to help your teenager process and navigate their grieving process.   

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374

Step 1. Validate Feelings

Let your teenager know that it is okay to feel the way they do.

Give them permission to take their time and understand that grief can be a slow process.

Some things you can say are, "It's okay to feel sadness and anger, I am here to listen when you need someone."   

Step 2. Provide Comfort

Show your teen that you are there for them by comforting them in whatever way feels right such as giving hugs or holding their hand.

Other ways you can provide comfort are by talking about the person who passed away, or by doing an activity that reminds them of the person.

These things can include:

  • Seeing a movie they enjoyed together
  • Making their favorite meal
  • Talking about memories
  • Creating a photo album of the person's life 

Step 3. Give Space

Respect your teenager's need for space and privacy during this time.

Don't force your teen to talk about how they feel if they don't want to, but let them know that you are available when they are ready to open up.

Some things you can say are, "Take as much time as you need, I am here whenever you want to talk."

Step 4. Listen

When your teen is ready to talk, let them do so without judgment.

Listen attentively and patiently as they share their experiences with you.

What does listening look like?

Make sure you are giving verbal cues like nodding or making sounds that show you understand what they are saying. 

Step 5. Acknowledge Loss

Help your teenager acknowledge the reality of their loss by talking honestly about it.

This can help them process what has happened and begin to move through their grief in a beneficial way.

The words you can use to express this are, "I know this is a hard time, but we can face it together." 

Step 6. Find Support

Let your teen know that it is normal to feel overwhelmed and suggest they seek out additional support if needed, such as talking to a therapist or joining a support group.

You can reach out to local organizations or look online for resources in your area.

The goal is to help your teen find a positive outlet that will allow them to express their feelings and begin the healing process. 

Step 7. Be Patient

Grief can take time, so be patient with yourself and with your teenager as they work through their emotions.

Overcomers Counseling is Here to Help

At Overcomers Counseling, our team provides individual and family counseling services to help those dealing with grief.

We have a team of licensed counselors who specialize in working with teenagers experiencing grief, loss, and trauma.

We are here to help. Contact us today for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions Helping Your Teenager Deal with Grief

How can I help my teenager deal with grief?

The death of a loved one is a difficult experience for anyone, but it can be rough for teenagers. As they are going through so many changes in their lives, they may feel like they are not equipped to deal with such a loss. However, there are many things you can do to help your teenager cope with grief.

What are some common symptoms of grief?

There is no one "right" way to grieve, but there are some common symptoms that many people experience. These can include feeling numb or disconnected, feeling angry or resentful, feeling guilty or blaming yourself, struggling with sleep or concentration, and experiencing physical problems such as headaches or stomachaches. It is important to remember that everyone grieves in their own way and there is no "correct" way to do it.

How long will the grieving process take?

Again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. For some people, the grieving process may last a few weeks or months, while for others it may take years. It is important to be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time you need to grieve.

What can I do to support my teenager during this time?

There are many things you can do to support your teenager during this difficult time. First and foremost, it is important to be there for them emotionally. Listen to them when they want to talk about their feelings, and offer reassurance and understanding. You can also help them by staying positive and keeping things as normal as possible. Finally, it is important to encourage them to express their grief in whatever way feels comfortable for them – whether that's through writing, art, music, or simply talking about their loved one.

Where can I go for more help?

If you are struggling to support your teenager on your own, there are many resources available that can help. You can speak to your child's school counselor or doctor, or contact a local grief counseling center. 

Conclusion

Helping your teenager deal with grief is a challenging process, but by following these steps you can better support them and provide comfort in times of need.

By validating their feelings and providing a safe space to talk, you can help your teen cope with their loss in a healthy way.

If needed, seek out additional support from local organizations or therapists.

Remember that grief is an individual process and each pe

Above all, be patient as your teen works through their emotions. Grief is a difficult journey, but with the right support, it can become easier to navigate. 

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July 14th, 2024

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