GUIDANCE STRATEGIES FOR PARENTS
1. Acknowledge their feelings. Let them know that it is normal to cry and feel sad.
2. Respect the child's coping strategies. Some children will want to talk about their feelings while others desire to keep to themselves.
3. Many adolescents prefer to talk to their friends instead of their parents about their losses. Don't take it personally!
4. Parents need to use their best judgment when deciding if their children are old enough to attend funerals. Many experts believe that children need to attend if they wish. By not allowing children to attend, it could create an environment of denial that does not allow them to actively participate in the grieving process.
5. Parents and teachers need to be flexible with schoolwork and homework assignments during the grieving period.
6. Teachers can give the child permission to leave the room or call home when he/she gets sad.
7. Teens and some younger children who have a history of depression, chemical dependency, or suicidal tendencies need to be closely monitored. These children are at a higher risk for serious grief reactions.
Parents and teachers have to be conscious of each child's age as they help the child cope with death. Infants and toddlers have almost no concept of death. Preschoolers often think death is reversible. Elementary-age children start to comprehend the finality of death. Students in middle school understand death and they may act-out in an attempt to cope. High school students fully grasp the meaning of death and they tend to seek out friends and family for support.
Organization is the key to success for your school age children. It is also one area in which parents can help their children immensely.
1. Make sure your child has a notebook that's clearly labeled for each class. Also, set up files at home for returned papers, quizzes, and tests.
2. Have your child use her Binder Reminder to keep track of assignments. Check it often to make sure it is being used correctly.
3. Remind your child not to stuff loose papers in their backpack. They should all be securely stored in the appropriate notebook section. Encourage them to clean out their backpack weekly.
4. Show your child how to break large assignments into smaller tasks that don't seem so daunting.
5. Have your child get everything ready for the next day before going to bed each night.
Organizational skills such as these will help your children for the rest of their lives.