Most of the time, teens feel constantly judged by their peers. All eyes are on them, looking for the slightest flaw to point out. So when someone close to a teen dies, teens fear being labeled as “that guy whose parent died tragically.” Because teens already have a tough time dealing with changing bodies, emotions and responsibilities, dealing with grief can take its toll on teens. That’s why it’s important to help navigate grief counseling for your teen.
How to help your teen cope
For every teen, coping mechanisms for grief are different. That’s why you need to talk to your teen about how they are feeling. Teens, like everyone who grieves, need to be surrounded by caring people. Your grieving teen needs to know that you’re there for them. It’s important to validate your teen’s feelings and not minimize them in any way.
For adolescents who have little experience with trauma, death, pain or stress, this will be the first time they experience the overwhelming emotions related with grief. This can be frightening and many don’t have the self-awareness to know what types of coping strategies will help.
Elements impacting your teen’s grief
The impact of death for your teen relates to a variety of factors. These can include, but are not limited to:
- The circumstances of the death (how, where and when the person died)
- How your child found out about the death
- Your teen’s previous experiences with death
All of factors are what make your teen’s grieving experience unique. You must be aware of these, and be on the lookout for others, while providing grief counseling for your teen.
Knowing if your teen needs additional help
During the grieving process, your teen might develop certain behaviors as a result of their grieving process. Watch out for:
- Deterioration of relationships with family and friends
- Symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Substance abuse
- Indifference to academics
- Overcompensating for pain by being overly strong or mature
If any of these warning signs appear, get your teen to a professional grief counselor or therapist. School counselors, church groups and private therapists are appropriates resources for some young people, while others might just need a little more time and attention from caring adults, like you and other supportive figures. Another option is wilderness therapy.
blueFire Wilderness Therapy helps with grief counseling for your teens
blueFire Wilderness Therapy helps grieving teens who demonstrate behavioral problems. Our highly trained staff with decades of clinical experience can help your teen overcome their grief through our wilderness program.
For more information on our grief counseling for your teen, please call 844-413-1999.