Death is never easy to talk about, and teenagers are never easy to talk to. If you are faced with helping your teenager cope with death, it may seem overwhelming. It may even seem impossible…but it is not.
Teenagers are stubborn. They do not like to listen. The teenage years are the time to learn and make mistakes. Many teens do not have to go through the loss of a loved one, especially a close loved one. If a teenager is faced with death, how they proceed to cope can be detrimental to their venture into adulthood without proper guidance. How they accept and respond to loss can affect their future indefinitely.
The first thing to do is evaluate the specific teenager you are seeking to help. If you have the shy and quiet type, they may be easier to talk to simply because they are more apt to listen. If your teen is the strong and rebellious type, helping them may be a struggle. Be direct, firm, constant and strong. Always be ready to listen.
If your teen has lost a parent or a close friend, they might wish to be alone for awhile. However, this desire for independence can be a little risky as they are more apt to make mistakes. A grieving teen is still a teen. Trying to control and hold a young adult back might do more harm than it will keep them safe. If they do need to be alone, or away from the house, speak with someone else they are close to about helping them cope. This may be an older sibling or a close friend that you know they trust and that you trust as well.
As anyone else, teenagers need to grieve. They have to go through the grieving process. However, they are not going to go through the process as an adult would because they are not yet adults. The weeks passing the death of their loved one may be more difficult than their immediate response. Often times teenagers seem disconnected and do not wish to be as involved in planning the memorial or making decisions about the funeral. They may not want to talk about it at all for a while.
Remember that your teen was a child a few short years ago. They are learning every day how to be an adult. Give them time to accept things. The grieving process will most likely be slow to start, but it will come in time. Teenagers are more likely to be sporadic and spontaneous by nature. Age and hormones have a lot to do with how you deal with life, and a lot to do with how you deal with death. The absolute best thing you can do for the teenager in your life that is grieving over the loss of a loved one is to simply be consistent. Do not allow them to do things they would not normally be allowed to do in other circumstances, as this does more harm than good in the long run.
Every teen is unique and will process death in his or her own time and ways. In some cases, your teenager may make remarks and decisions that concern you. Do not be afraid to seek the help of a professional counselor or grief support services for yourself or your teen. Although your teen may feel alone and as if no one understands, there are others out there that have been through what they are going through and use their own experiences to help others with their loss.
Ascension Funeral Group serves the Mobile, Alabama area and Saraland, Alabama area with funeral and cremation services, grief support, pre-planning, and more. Visit us online at www.AscensionFuneralGroup.com. Call us anytime at (251) 634-8055 or connect with Ascension Funeral Home & Crematory and Forest Lawn Funeral Home on Facebook and Twitter!
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