Is Your Teen Grieving The Wrong Way? What To Look For

Death is highly impactful; however, to what degree it affects someone varies. This is especially the case when it comes to teenagers. During these years, children are learning to manage their own emotions, while striving for greater privacy and independence, which is a challenge in and of itself and grief only elevates the difficulty bar. Parents should know how to recognize when the load is too heavy for their child to bear on their own.

Self-Destructive Behavior

Self-destructive behavior is anything that you do that alters the way you think or the actions you take in a negative way. If your child has displayed negative changes after the death of a loved one, you want to investigate further. Just as death affects everyone differently, self-destructive behavior can also vary. 

For one teen, this can surface as a choice to no longer complete homework assignments and for another, something more destructive like skipping school and expressing a desire to drop out. The overall idea is that the teen is making a conscious decision to do something damaging to their own self.

Lack Of Enjoyment

Whether it's playing football, going to the mall with friends or reading, all teens have something they find fun and exciting. When these activities no longer bring them joy, this could be a red flag. It is important to note that this is not always the case though.

For instance, if your child loved to play chess with their grandfather and no longer wants to play after his death, this might simply be that playing chess brings up memories. However, when you can't make this type of correlation and the child isn't replacing their old activities with anything new, it's time to take action.

Consistent Grief

People never truly get over the loss of a loved one. However, overtime, they do learn how to live a love without them and each day, they are able to cope with their absence more and more. When a teen has a consistent level of grief, meaning they seem just as grief stricken today as they did when the person died a year ago, this is cause for concern.

In this instance, it could be that the child has never fully come to terms with their death and therefore is in somewhat of a stuck state that is preventing them from moving toward the healing stage. A long amount of time spent in this state means that the risk of depression might be higher.

For children who have grieving methods that raise concerns, a grief counselor can help. A counselor will help your child sort through their emotions and learn how to better manage moving forward. To learn more, contact a company like Gillies Funeral Chapel.