Experience Camp Helps Grieving Kids: 5 Things to Know About Kids Who've Experienced the Death of a Loved One by Sara Deren
One in five children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18. Their grief can take them down a road of bad outcomes, or it can build them into a strong, resilient person. We can help them find a positive path through their grief. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Every child grieves differently, and they sometimes grieve differently than you think they should. As long as they aren't hurting themselves or someone else, their behaviors are probably OK.
- Children continue to grieve throughout their lives. Keeping the door open to talk about the person who died helps them continue to process the death at different stages of their lives.
- Just because a child is playing and smiling doesn't mean they are not grieving. Playing helps them process and allows them to step away from the grief for a period of time.
- Children learn by watching the adults around them. A child who sees adults who take care of themselves, talk about the death, show emotion and manage those emotions in a healthy way learns to do so themselves.
- Grief can be isolating for kids and that isolation can create problems. Finding peers who can relate can help them feel less alone.
Experience Camps are free, one-week camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. It's a place where kids can feel "normal," because everyone there has been through something similar and understands what it's like to lose someone important to them. To learn more or to give the gift of camp to a grieving child, visit www.experience.camp.
This video is longer than 30 seconds, but it shows more important background on Experience Camp.