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Grief in Children

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Developmental Stages of Grief. The way a child understands death varies according to their age and ... and sleep can lead to physical illness and exhaustion. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Grief in Children


1
Grief in Children
  • By Glenda K. Lane
  • Phillip N. Lambert Jr.

2
Objective
  • To cover the effects of grief as it concerns
    children, especially individuals who have
    experienced the loss of one or both parents. We
    will also look at the many resources and
    techniques for coping with grief and how Social
    Workers are a vital part of the process.

Imagery Intro
3
What is Grieving?
  • Grieving is the process of emotional and life
    adjustment you go through after a loss.
  • Grieving after a loved one's death is also known
    as bereavement.
  • Grieving is a personal experience.

4
Symptoms of Grief
  • Be alert for children exhibiting these reactions
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal, or very passive behavior
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Prolonged periods of weeping
  • Changes in school grades
  • Symptoms associated with the illness or injury of
    the deceased
  • Repeated expressions of guilt or fear
  • You may want to seek help if these reactions are
    persistent and ongoing.

Clip from Hide and Seek
5
Developmental Stages of Grief
  • The way a child understands death varies
    according to their age and developmental level.
  • BIRTH TO THREE YEARS
  • THREE TO FIVE YEARS
  • SIX TO NINE YEARS
  • NINE TO TWELVE YEARS
  • ADOLESCENCE

6
Developmental Stages cont
  • BIRTH TO THREE YEARS Even infants grieve.
  • "Children feel, even if they do not
    understand. Understanding comes later the
    feelings need a hug" Doug Manning
  • THREE TO FIVE YEARS Children at this age don't
    accept death as a permanent process.
  • SIX TO NINE YEARS Children begin to grasp the
    concept of death and understand that the person
    will never come back.
  • NINE TO TWELVE YEARS Children begin to
    understand that death is an inevitable part of
    living and that death may come earlier than
    expected.
  • ADOLESCENCE Most teenagers have an adult level
    of understanding about death.

7
Stages of Grieving
  • I. Stage One Shock, denial, isolation
  • II. Stage Two Anger
  • III. Stage Three Bargaining
  • IV. Stage Four Depression
  • V. Stage Five Acceptance

8
Treatment Methods for Grieving
  • Three common Treatment Methods
  • Home Treatment
  • Medications
  • Counseling

9
Home Treatment
  • Get enough rest and sleep. During sleep, your
    mind makes sense of what is happening in your
    life. Not getting enough rest and sleep can lead
    to physical illness and exhaustion. Try to
    incorporate a routine nap into the childs
    schedule.
  • Exercise. If nothing else, take a walk with the
    child. This and other forms of exercise, such as
    swimming can help release some of their pent-up
    emotions.
  • Maintain the childs normal activities. Staying
    involved in activities that include church,
    dance, sports, or clubs, may help them as they
    grieve.
  • Give the child a journal.

10
Home Treatment Cont.
  • Some guided questions to help with their
    journaling are
  • My favorite memory of my mom/dad is ...
  • During the holidays we...
  • I had a _____ for a pet. His name was ___. He
    looked like ___. We used to ___.
  • The meal I loved the most at home was...
  • My best friend is ...
  • I feel ____ today.
  • I wish I could...
  • If I could grow up to be anything in the world it
    would be a...
  • My favorite song/TV show is...
  • We used to _____ as a family every weekend.
  • My mom/dad's laughter sounds like...
  • I miss...
  • I want...
  • School is...
  • I am a ____ person.

11
Medications
  • Grief itself is a natural response that doesn't
    require medical treatment. Sometimes, however,
    people need help getting through the grieving
    process, especially when these people are
    children!
  • Sedative medication
  • If the child suffers for more than a few days of
    SEVERE agitation, talk to your health
    professional about whether a short-term
    prescription sedative medication can help them.
    Common Medications used to aide in grief relief
    are
  • Celexa
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

12
Counseling
  • You can talk to a grief counselor/Social Worker,
    attend a bereavement support group, or both.
  • According to an article from The Child and
    Adolescence Social Work Journal, group therapy
    is one of the best methods to help children cope
    with the death of a parent.
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