Grief is confusing. While it’s completely natural to worry and want to protect children and teenagers, the best thing to do is give them age-appropriate information about a death.
Our Irish Childhood Bereavement Network is there for you if you’re supporting a bereaved child/teenager right now. Visit childhoodbereavement.ie or see below for more advice and supports.
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Under normal circumstances, grief can feel isolating, however during COVID-19 restrictions it’s especially important to find ways to support teenagers and help them stay connected.
Children will need a lot of reassurance and love during these distressing times. They need to know even though the adults around them are worried and very sad, they’ll still be able to care for them.
Children grieve in their own way following a death and each child’s reaction will depend on the circumstances of their loss. How they respond also will depend on their age and their understanding of death.
Explaining death to children can be difficult, particularly when the death is traumatic. While you may want to try to protect children from upsetting details of the death, children need honest information.
When a death occurs, the life of a teenager can become very difficult. It’s important you support them in their grief and they have a caring adult who is willing to listen and to validate their loss.