There is nothing fun about going through the pain of losing a loved one. For any average adult, the grieving process can bring them to their knees in anguish. This is why it can be even more traumatic for a teenager who’s faces the death of a high school friend. When children are young, they’re not used to losing loved ones or embracing the concept of death.
While teens are more capable of understanding loss, they are still new to it and will need guidance to handle it in a healthy manner. As their parent, consider the following ways you can help your teen through the loss of a high school friend.
Facing the death of a High school Friend
Keep an open dialogue about loss
Make sure that your teenager knows that you are open and available for a conversation at any time they need you. Oftentimes, people tend to bottle their emotions up in order to cope with pain. This ends up leading to unhealthy practices such as binging, excessive sleeping or substance abuse. In order to help your teenager fight through the tough emotions, invite them to speak with you on a regular basis. You can ask them questions. Give them space to breathe. Also, do your best to avoid judgment. They need to know they can be vulnerable in a judgement-free zone.
Find counseling services
Do your best to find local counseling services that will cater to your teenager. If you don’t know where to start, you can always contact friends and family members who might have their own recommendations. Keep in mind that the first counselor you speak with may not be the right fit for your teenager. Take the time to bring your teen to a variety of consultations to find who they connect with the best in order to get the best results from your teen’s therapy. You can speak with youth counselors, or find specialized grief counseling for young adults, depending on the level of guidance your teen needs.
Talk to the school administration
If your school administration knows what your child is dealing with, they’ll be able to notify the teachers and extend grace in their case. When a teacher knows that a child is dealing with a lot of emotional difficulty, they tend to be more understanding when it comes to their ability to function at optimal levels in the classroom. The school administration should be a part of your support system. Working with them can help give your teen better support while dealing with their loss and allow the administration to better coordinate the care of all affected students.
Help reduce daily stressors
When someone is stressed, this can exacerbate any negative emotion. This is why it’s wise to find different ways to decrease the amount of stress your teenager is facing. Whether you take them out for ice cream one night after school or allow them to enjoy a few laps in the swimming pool, find ways to help them cope and enjoy a new pace in life.
Though the process won’t be easy, continue to be patient. You know your child. You know how they tend to deal with different issues. If you notice something uncommon, don’t ignore it. Embrace the process, and know that it won’t last. Your teenager will experience brighter days ahead.