Tell Them It's Okay...
Kids Need Your Permission to Grieve
Kids are like the rest of us.They don't know how to grieve.What's harder for a child is that they may be burying their feelings to protect you, or perhaps just are unable to express them.There are both healthy and unhealthy ways to grieve.Unhealthy grieving can have lasting effects, but not if you take steps to help.The first one is simple: Tell them, "It's okay to grieve."
Children's and Teens' Grief Support at Pikes Peak Hospice
Talking about your feelings is essential to any grief recovery; for kids, giving words to their grief is often difficult. Helping children through the stages of grief requires special expertise, resources, and care. The Children's and Teens' Grief Support Program at Pikes Peak Hospice is designed to create an atmosphere that is emotionally safe; so kids can explore and express their feelings.
Children's groups are available at no cost to children related to Pikes Peak Hospice patients, and, when space is available, to kids throughout the community for a fee. Grief Counselors and trained volunteers work with children ages 3 to 18 in age-appropriate small groups.
Sessions include a mix of group interaction, age appropriate play, physical activities, and time with the Grief Counselor and volunteers.The Children's Grief Counseling Rooms are bright and colorful -- filled with toys, a puppet theater and other therapeutic tools to help children explore their experience of grief and loss. This is a place where healing can begin.
Half day Grief Camps are often offered in the summer. We partner with local organizations like the YMCA and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to offer unique opportunities for fun and support for grieving children. Please call 719.633.3400 for more information.
Kids need adults to facilitate a healthy grieving process. For every child in our program, there is an adult working in parallel to understand their role in helping the child grieve in a healthy manner. Parents or guardians attend an adult education group during their child's session. With information and guidance of a Pikes Peak Hospice Grief Counselor, parents and guardians learn how to support their family in moving forward after loss.
Did You Know?
- All children grieve, even infants grieve.
- Kids experience the same emotions as adults when grieving.
- A child's understanding of death and approach to grieving will vary based on their age and personality.
- Just because a child says he or she is okay doesn't mean they aren't hurting; kids often cannot verbalize their grief, but instead exhibit it through a change in behavior.
- Children need permission to express their feelings surrounding grief.
- Children grieve cyclically; they may grieve intensely for short periods of time and seem to recover before the grief returns.
- Developmental stages or life events can retrigger a child's grief.
- A child's work is actually play, and their grief work is no different; children use play to work through their grief.
Taking the First Step
For additional information or to access services, please call 719.633.3400 and ask to speak with a Grief Counselor, or contact us by submitting our website form.