The mourning and recovery process after a loss is usually challenging. Stages of grief for teens apply to many types of losses, including the death and divorce of loved ones, the loss of a career, the relocation to a new location, and the loss of a friend.
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These events are stressful for everyone, including teenagers. Here’s what you should know if you have a bereaved adolescent.
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What Are The Stages Of Loss Recovery?
After losing something or someone important, most people—adults, adolescents, and children—go through a series of predictable stages.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described five phases of grief in her book on death and dying.
- Denial and shock. The inability to feel anything is a common first reaction to loss. This might include feelings of numbness, weakness, overwhelm, anxiety, not being oneself, or withdrawal.
- Anger. I’m blaming people for my loss. Children can be cranky, hostile, and difficult to get along with.
- Bargaining. “I’ll swear to finish my schoolwork every day if you only let my mama survive.”
- Depression. Deep melancholy, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, suicidal thoughts, and excessive sobbing
- Acceptance. Starting to seek the experience’s lessons.
According to Kübler-Ross, the mourning process entails going through all five phases, but not necessarily in this sequence.
She also stated that people frequently cycle through a number of stages before arriving at the stage of acceptance.
The grieving process of recovering from loss is always difficult. The grief process applies to all kinds of losses—loss of loved ones through death and divorce, losing a job, moving to a new place, losing a friend.
These experiences are difficult for everyone, teens included. Here is what to know if you have a grieving teen.
What Are The Stages Of Recovery From Loss?
There are some predictable stages that most people—adults, adolescents, and kids—pass through after losing something or someone important.
In her work on death and dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined five stages of grieving.
- Shock and Denial:
The first reaction to loss is often the inability to feel anything. This may include feeling numb, weak, overwhelmed, anxious, not yourself, or withdrawn.
Blaming others for the loss. Kids may be angry, irritable, and difficult to get along with.
“If you’ll just let my mommy live, I’ll promise to do my homework every day.”
Feeling deep sadness, disturbed sleep and eating patterns, thoughts of suicide, excessive crying.
Beginning to look for the lessons of the experience.
Kübler-Ross said that the grieving process involves experiencing all five stages, although not always in this order.
She also said that people often cycle back and forth through a number of stages before coming to the stage of acceptance.
What Are Some Examples Of Losses?
These are some examples of significant losses that children and adolescents may experience:
- Loss of a person through death
- Loss of the family structure through divorce
- Loss of a friend when he or she moves away
- Loss of everything familiar when you move Away
- Loss of a pet
- Loss of a body part through an accident or surgery
- Loss of physical ability, such as when blindness strikes
Each kind of loss affects each person differently, but the recovery process usually follows Kübler-Ross’ five stages.
How Do Children Heal From Loss?
If your kid or teenager is going through the mourning process, the following suggestions may be helpful:
- Everyone Grieves Differently:
Your child’s reactions to loss will most likely differ from those of another youngster.
You may assist your child in expressing his or her sadness, but you cannot instruct him or her on how to mourn.
- Grief Must Be Expressed:
Avoid conveying the impression that the bereavement should come to an end.
The objective of the grieving process is to assist one in learning to accept the reality of loss and to learn from the experience.
Shortening it stops the procedure from being finished.
- Reassure Your Youngster That The Grief Will Pass:
Your youngster will not feel horrible indefinitely. He or she will recover.
- Assist Your Youngster In Getting Enough Rest:
Grief is incredibly stressful, and dealing with it demands a lot of energy.
- Encourage Your Youngster To Express His Or Her Feelings About The Loss:
As a form of denial, people may avoid discussing their loss. This, however, prolongs the denial and grief process.
- Make Time For Rest And Relaxation:
There is generally a rush of activity and numerous visitors and phone calls in the days and weeks after the death of a loved one.
This, along with the stress of the loss, maybe totally tiring for both children and adults.
Make sure your youngster gets the opportunity to retire to his or her room and close the door for a short period of time.
- Maintain A Normal Routine If At All Possible:
There are already a lot of changes in your child’s life right now.
Assist your child with getting up in the morning, going to bed at night, and eating meals at the same time every day.
- Give Your Youngster Additional Assistance:
The bigger the loss, the greater the need. Allow your youngster to be less autonomous for the time being if he or she does not want to be alone.
- During The Grieving Process, Show Your Youngster How To Keep A Notebook:
Writing about one’s sentiments allows them to be expressed rather than kept inside.
And writing down one’s experiences provides your youngster something to look back on and recall in the future.
- Avoid Making Drastic Changes In Your Life:
Don’t make any major decisions about your child until your life seems more balanced.
It might be tempting to make significant adjustments quickly after a huge defeat in order to regain control.
If possible, postpone such adjustments and choices. If you have an adolescent, encourage him or her to follow suit.
- Remind Your Youngster That He Or She Will Not Be Harmed By Grieving:
Although sorrow is difficult, your kid will survive and even thrive as a result of the experience.
- Be Prepared For Your Youngster To Regress:
From time to time, the recuperation process will reverse. This is quite normal. It may occur abruptly, but it is unlikely to persist long.
- Recognize The Anniversary Of The Loss:
Do something unique. Make yourself available to offer assistance.
If the loss was major, and your older kid or adolescent is likely to be aware of it, the anniversary may be painful.
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