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8 Ways to Help Children Grieve

8 Ways to Help Children Grieve

1- Involve the child in activities like sports, or clubs.

2- Help the child work on his/her life books.

3- Listen to the child when he/she decide to talk about their birth families. Assign feelings when appropriate such as, "Sounds like you are disappointed" or "You must miss your mom" and "I bet you were scared".

4- Give the child a journal. Help him/her get started with these questions. If the child is too young for writing, encourage the child to draw his/her feelings.

5- Make a memory quilt or memory boxes to hold treasures from home.

6- Find a grief group for the child.
Many agencies hold grief groups for children who have gone through termination of parental rights.

7- Support the child before and after family visitation. Prepare yourself and know that the child may act out. Start a tradition of doing something after visitation if possible. Go get ice cream, go for a walk, or take a drive. This gives the child time to talk about the visit and relax.

8- Find a good therapist that understands foster/adoptive issues. If the child's grief turns into depression it may be time to find professional help. Warning signs of depression may include:
  • The child loses interest in daily activities and interests.
  • Inability to sleep and loss of appetite.
  • Acting much younger than chronological age for an extended period of time.
  • Sharp drop in school performance.

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