Grief Counseling for Children: Is It Worth It?

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Grieving and Its Stages

Children tend to look at the world with two colors: black and white. They see everything as just bad or good, and losing a loved one is probably tough for them so they view this as black.

They could manifest how they truly feel based on their behavior. They could use humor as a way to deflect the sadness that they are feeling or they could exhibit anger management issues as well as developing problems in sleeping.

Each child deals with grief differently, but grief counseling starts with identifying which stage of grief the child is in. 

The first stage is denial. The child may think that it is all a prank and might not take it seriously. They will probably refuse to believe that their loved one is already gone.

Anger may follow and this is the part where the child will exhibit behavioral changes. The child may become easily irritated or they might start showing signs of violence while playing. 

As the anger subsides, the child may start bargaining. For example, they could start expressing their feelings and say something along the lines of “If only I did not play that night I would have been with her and kept her company”.

Following this is the depressive stage. They will probably detach themselves from everyone and just spend most of their time alone. 

Acceptance follows suit. This is where the child starts to accept the fact that their loved one is already gone. They will start to go back to their normal habits, but it would take some time before they are fully normal again.

The main gist from children grief counseling is that no child exhibits the same behavior and expression. But with the guide of the stages of grief, we will be able to understand how they are feeling. 

What Children Need as They Grieve

Grief is unavoidable because, at some point in life, children will inevitably lose someone or something important to them at some point. The loss could often lead to a thousand different emotions, and some grief counseling techniques are what they need to cope with.

Helping grieving children is difficult because they often do not want to talk about how they feel regarding the matter. That is why it is important to take your kids to a grief counsel where they can openly express their emotions.

Knowing that other children also feel the way that they do will help them understand their emotions better. With this, therapists and parents will also know how to properly help their children to properly deal with their feelings.

Can Grief Counseling Help?

Although most children can overcome the grieving process without any long-term problems with their emotional and mental health, some children tend to cling on to the past which makes them more vulnerable in developing long-term problems.

One way of helping your child to feel better as soon as possible is by letting them attend grief counseling sessions. They will meet other children with similar problems and they will be facilitated by a grief counselor.

Some benefits of grief counsel for children are the following:

The children will have a support system other than their family members

This is a crucial part of grief counseling because after undergoing a significant impact of losing someone, being with other people could help. As the saying goes, it is better to suffer together than to suffer alone.

With a support group, the children will be able to rely on each other for moral and emotional support. This will also help the children to socialize and enjoy being with other kids.

It will lessen their feeling of being isolated and it could help them not to develop abandonment issues.

It will help in processing how they truly feel

The child may be embarrassed or shy to talk about their feelings with a family member. But once the grief counselor gains the child’s trust, the child will be more comfortable with sharing their emotions.

Children will start releasing their hidden emotions. As they experience these emotions, the grieving counsel will be able to determine the proper grief counseling technique that they could use to help the children in facing their grievance.

Participating in grief counsel for children will help them in becoming active and this could result in a better mood and overall better mental health. 

The children will be encouraged to move on

After expressing their emotions, the therapist or counselor will help them in facing their fears and how to overcome the feeling of grievance. 

Time will help the children in coping with their loss. Moving on is tough, but with the professional help of a grieving counsel, they will surely feel better soon.

Summary

Yes, grief counseling is worth it. It can provide the children with the proper venue where they can share and express their emotions. It helps them to process and deal with their feelings. 

This avoids unnecessary long-term emotional and mental problems as they grow up. Instead of bottling up their pain, the children are encouraged to feel them. With this, they can overcome it as soon as possible while they are still young.

If a family member dies, chances are that the family of the child would also experience the grieving stages. It is more practical and wise to send the child to a grief counsel because the family members may also be emotionally unstable to help the child.

It is important to respect the pain that the child is feeling. As parents, we must understand that sometimes there are other people better than us that could help our children.

Grief counseling is one of the best ways that you can help your child who is grieving. Let your kids move on safely and help them have a healthy mentality.

About Author

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LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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