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Grief: Helping Teens With Grief

Table of Contents


How can you help a teen who is grieving?

You may feel unsure about how to approach a teen who is grieving. Here are some general concepts to keep in mind:

Here are some ways to help a teen who is grieving.

  1. Teach your teen about the normal grieving process. Because teens normally have mood swings and conflicting feelings, they may need help telling the difference between normal feelings and feelings of grief. Talk with your teen about the grieving process.
  2. Listen to your teen. Be prepared to drop what you are doing and listen when he or she is ready to talk about the loss. Let your teen talk about the loss in indirect ways, if he or she needs to. Listen for the feelings that your teen is expressing. Adults often want to help a teen or ease the teen's pain. Resist the urge to help your teen by talking, offering advice, or solving his or her problems. Let your teen use his or her own problem-solving skills. Listen and respond in a way that shows you're trying to understand what's being said. This may encourage your teen to talk more.
  3. Handle serious behavior problems appropriately. Sometimes a teen's behavior does not improve when reasonable limits have been set by adults. Start by calmly talking with your teen about problem behavior. Seek professional counseling for your teen or for yourself if you are not able to handle problem behaviors on your own.
  4. Tell other significant adults in your teen's life about the recent loss. Teachers, school counselors, and coaches may also be able to help your teen work through his or her grief.

Following are some activities you can do with the different ages of teens to help when they are grieving:

Credits for Grief: Helping Teens With Grief

Current as of: March 17, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Jean S. Kutner MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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