The Importance Of Grief Counseling For Kids — And Several Tips

Losing someone you love is never easy. This sense of loss can be even harder on a child since at a young age, most people have not yet figured out what to make of death and its sting. If your child has lost someone close to then, it is very helpful for them to see a children's therapist who specializes in grief counseling. Here is a closer look at the benefits of such therapy and a few tips you can implement as a parent.

Benefits of Grief Counseling for Kids

1. They can retain a focus on other things in their life

Grief can be absolutely overwhelming, especially for little ones who can't always voice what they are experiencing. Grief counseling will give your child time to focus specifically on their loss so that they are better able to focus on the other elements of their life, like school and friends, when they are not in counseling. 

2. They'll be able to move through the seven stages of grief faster

The first three stages of grief are the hardest: denial, pain, and anger. The fourth stage, depression, is also very tough. It is common for children to get stuck in one of these stages, especially considering they are young and still learning to process. A grief counselor will help them move past these tough stages and into the more positive, final three stages: upward turn, reconstruction, and acceptance.

3. They'll learn the language to talk about their grief

Talking about something always seems to make it better. The problem is that kids often don't have the language to talk about their grief after losing a loved one. A counselor will give them that language so they can then come home and speak with you more effectively about what they are feeling. This will help you grow closer as a family and will also give you more of a chance to help your child through their grief at home.

Tips for Parents

1. Interview counselors first

Meet with a few child therapists to get an idea of their approach and personality. Send your child to see someone who you feel you're able to be open and honest with.

2. Consider your religious affiliation

Beliefs about what happens after death and what death means vary with religion. To ensure your child is being taught notions about death that align with your own beliefs, seek a counselor who belongs to the same faith tradition you embrace. There are also many secular counselors if you choose to go the non-religious route.