Intro to Psychology
Greif and Loss in Adolescence
Each year many teenagers experience the death of someone they are close to. When a parent, sibling, friend or relative dies, teens feel a big loss of someone who they needed. And these feelings of grief become a part of their lives forever. The hardest part in any young person’s life is when someone they know dies. If this is the first time they’ve had to deal with this, they might not know how to control their grief over the loss. If they child is young, and doesn’t quite understand what has happened, they might not need as much help with their grief. Some parents will sit their child down and talk to them about how they’re feeling, but other parents might use a different method and take steps to helping their child.
For example, a parent who takes steps to help their child might first pull everyone in the family together to make sure the child and parent aren’t at odds with one another. Next, the parent will try and make sure the child doesn’t try and help take away the pain from them, because that will result in the child not wanting to talk about it. After you talk to your child about what has happened, they might try to deny their feelings of grief, which will result in them pushing the feeling away, and sometimes those feeling will surface and be unhealthy.
When someone in the family dies, many teens are told to “be strong” and “carry on” for the surviving family. These kinds of conflicts get in the way of mourning. Sad to say, many adults who lack understanding of their experience tell teens not to share their grief with others. Grieving teens give out all kinds of signs that they are struggling with complex feelings, yet are often pressured to act as they are doing better than they really are.
Teens grieve deeply but work hard to hide their feelings. Fearing the vulnerability that comes with expression, they look for distractions. Feelings of grief in teens can be turned off quickly,...