Grief Support Tips for Parents and Children – In the wake of the tragedy in Oxford this week, the Oakland County Community Health Network (OCHN) has released advice on how to help kids and families cope with the tragedy.
The OCHN is on staff via a 24-hour crisis helpline at 800-231-1127. You can also reach via phone or text the Michigan Crisis and Access Line (MiCAL) at 1-844-446-4225.
The following tips are taken verbatim from a 12/2 press release.
Grief Support Tips for Parents and Children
- Acknowledge what happened. If your child is talking or asking traumatic events, it is important for the caregivers/loved ones in their life to acknowledge what happened, provide age-appropriate information and be supportive.
- Parents may want to approach older children who may have seen the news or videos on social media and find out what they know what their thoughts/feelings are about what happened.
- Recognize the effect this has on your child. Talk to your child about their thoughts and emotions as it pertains to the event and validate their feelings and concerns. With mass shootings in public places and places of worship, this is a valid concern for them, and all adults need to take their viewpoint and concerns into consideration.
- Help your child feel safe. A sense of normalcy and routine as soon as possible after an event helps to re-establish a children’s sense of safety and structure. Discuss whatever positive aspects can be found in tragic events such as the quick police response and how community members and citizens across the country are coming together to support those affected.
TIPS FOR ADULTS
- Everyone experiences events and trauma in different ways and however they think or feel after an event like this is okay. Some people respond with fear, some anger, some shock, sadness, etc. Encourage people to talk about what they are thinking and feeling. Seek support from friends, family , or professionals if necessary.
- Try to get back to routines and schedules to promote feelings of consistency and balance to reduce fear and provide a feeling of returning control and predictability.
For more info on Grief Support Tips for Parents and Children, contact the OCHN at 800-231-1127.