Helping Children Cope With Grief

Guides

What to Expect With Kids Ages 13-18

Teenagers are capable of abstract thought and have a much more “adult” concept of death.

  • Possible expressions of grief: Extreme sadness, denial, regression, risk-taking, preference for talking to peers and others outside of the family, depression, anger, acting out, even possible suicidal thoughts.
  • How you can help: Encourage them to talk — if not to you, then to friends, teachers or a therapist. Do not attempt to “make it all better” or dismiss their grief. Allow them to mourn. Be available but respect their need to grieve in their own way.