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Grief and Loss Resources

Grief and Loss Tips for Parents:

  • Answer children’s questions in a calm and factual way.
  • Acknowledge their feelings.  “I can tell this makes you sad, worried, concerned about the family, etc.”  It is also normal for some students to not have those feelings.  
  • Children do not grieve in the same way adults do and may not want to “talk about it.”  That is okay.
  • Since children are self-focused they may worry that something will happen to them or someone they know.  Assure them that accidents are rare and usually do not happen.
  • Model a caring but calm approach.
  • Stick to the facts that are appropriate to share with your child.  You can always say, “I don’t know about that…” even if you have additional facts you think are inappropriate for your child.
  • Stay with a normal routine as much as possible.  Be sure to include their fun things.  It is okay for kids to play, have fun, and be excited about school even when sad things happen.
  • If your family knows the individal who has died, involve your children in writing cards or drawing pictures as a way to help express their concern and positive thoughts.
  • Encourage children to handle their feelings in positive, healthy ways - writing and drawing their feelings, talking to adults they trust and being physically active (biking, walking, basketball) to get out feelings.
  • Give hope.  Stress that situations like this are not the usual thing that happens.  
  • Contact your school counselor for more resources and support.