Being a teenager is difficult enough on its own, with raging hormones, anxiety, the pressures of social media and their peers, schoolwork, trying to decide what to do with their lives – it’s a complex period, full of stress and uncertainty. When they experience the sudden death of a friend or loved one on top of everything they’re already going through, this complicated period of their lives just got overwhelming.
Having the right tools and information to support your teen through this difficult period is essential. Not only will the right support network help them work through their emotions, but also help them come to terms with their loss and help them express their grief in a way that is right for them.
Let’s take a look at some of the wonderful, considerate ways you can support your teen through their grief.
Sometimes it’s not always easy for teens to express their emotions and it’s important to remember that while some teens may be open with their feelings, others might take a more reserved approach. Finding a way for your teen to express their loss and their connection to their loved one can help them manage their grief and feel closer to them. This silver feather ring from FIYAH is the perfect expression of grief and connection. A subtle reminder that helps them keep their loved one’s memory close will bring comfort and solace when they need it the most. And the adjustable feature means that they can wear it as they grow into adulthood.
If they have a group of friends or siblings who are also sharing the same loss, then wearing a piece of memorial jewellery in unison, can strengthen their support network and make them feel connected with others during this difficult time.
Teens who express their grief and unhappiness through emotional outbursts, slamming doors, irritability and frustration aren’t uncommon. As a parent or guardian, it’s important that you keep an open mind, and allow them to grieve in their own way. Challenging these outbursts and their emotions could mean invalidating them, something you should avoid.
Be mindful of your language
No one should have to walk on eggshells but being mindful of your language can ensure you’re supporting your teen in the right way. Instead of telling them that “these feelings will pass”, ask them, “how are you?”, don’t tell them they should have “gotten over it by now”. Check in with them and ask if they want to talk about it. It’s this mindful language that will help you follow their lead and maintain a good relationship with them.
Let them socialise
Sometimes we’re so desperate to protect our children that our actions result in the opposite result. During grief, it’s normal for children and teenagers to lean more on their friends than the adults in their life. If your teen wants to spend more time with their peers, let them. Meeting with friends could be the perfect outlet for their grief.
Everyone grieves in their own way. But if you’re worried about your teenager’s mental health after a loss, consider getting them some professional support.