As a new academic year begins, you may find many children need extra support and encouragement as they try to recover from two academic years full of disruption and uncertainty. 
 
If you work with children in an educational setting, you know it’s not realistic to protect children from everything sad or frightening in life, and that with the right tools to deal with emotional pain and grief, children can be very resilient. 
 
We welcome a recent Sky News article highlighting the need for teachers to receive training for supporting studentswho have lost loved ones. 
At Grief UK we know that helping children recover from grief and loss is a skill, an emotionally literacy skill that can be learned. 
 
The article includes a sobering statistic from the charity Child Bereavement UK: 
 
“86% of teachers say they have experienced a death in the school community, and nearly three quarters report teaching pupils affected by the death of someone significant.” 
 
The negative emotional impact of the pandemic will be experienced for many years to come, especially in our young people. While we can’t control the events, we can control how we talk and listen to children. 
 
Helping Children With Loss 
Knowing the right language and listening skills to use will help improve your confidence as you work with young people. The right intervention can also help prevent long-term difficulties resulting from unresolved pain in childhood, such as behavioural challenges, struggles in school, anxiety, absenteeism, withdrawal and more. 
 
Participation in a Helping Children with Loss programme helps to ensure that teachers, parents and carers are well prepared to handle traumatic events as they occur, and that the children in their care will feel supported and understood. 
 
Some Quick ABC Tips 
The words we use can have a significant impact on how a young person processes their feelings of loss. Here's our quick ‘ABC’ to help: 
 
Acknowledge their worries and avoid telling them not to worry. 
 
Be honest and tell them how you’re feeling, which allows them to share their emotional truth with you. 
 
Clarify that feeling sad or scared are normal and natural; don’t try to fix them or make promises. 
 
Knowing what signs to look for is also key to helping young people with their emotional recovery. 
Evidence Based Recovery 
Using the evidence based Grief Recovery Method as its foundation, the Helping Children with Loss programme provides participants with concrete action steps that they can use to help the children in their care process a loss of any kind. 
 
The training programme uses When Children Grieve by John W. James and Russell Friedman as the textbook, and covers: 
 
The myths around grief 
The things not to say and do that could cause further damage 
Techniques for speaking with children and teenagers about sad feelings 
Action steps for dealing with personal losses. 
Invaluable Emotional Literacy Tools 
“The Helping Children With Loss course makes us think very carefully about the language choices that we are using ...It has taught me that ensuring children are heard is so, so important.”  
Deb Brown, Headteacher, Upton Vale Primary School 
 
“For those of us who have done the training, that opportunity to really fine tune how we deal on a one-to-one basis. For us it’s been invaluable for the immediate impact we’ll have with those kids that we’ll have come to us.”  
Fiona Hartley, Assistant Headteacher, Sir Graham Balfour School 
 
Learn to Help and Support Children 
Our Helping Children with Loss programme provides parents, teachers and anyone who works with children with the specific tools for helping a child of any age and/or ability level with a personal loss of any kind. 
 
To find out how you can support children emotionally with any kind of loss, including feelings of loss of routine, safety, bereavement, divorce and more, you can find out more or book your place here
 
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