Erin’s House helps parents, teachers talk with grieving children

FILE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Parents and educators teach kids many life lessons but one of the most difficult is how to deal with tragedy. One local group is trying to help parents with this difficult situation. It’s called Erin’s House For Grieving Children.

They teach about healthy grieving. The organization says it’s not just important for the kids; it is important for the entire community. Research has shown that unresolved grief and the inability of a young person to cope with the death of a loved one plays a significant role in poor school performance, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, anxiety and an increased risk of suicide.

The best advice from the organization:

Parents:

  • Notify your child’s teacher, counselor and school administration.
  • Make a communication plan.
  • Prepare your child for other kids.
  • Brainstorm some coping tools for when things are tough.
  • Identify adults your child trusts.
  • Give your child permission to enjoy school.

    Teachers:

  • Talk to the grieving student before he/she returns to school.
  • Find out what he/she wants classmates to know about the death, funeral arrangements etc. Reassure the student that you want to make the transition back into school as supportive as possible.
  • Have an open discussion about death/loss and grief.
  • Provide an opportunity for the class to reach out to the grieving classmate or family.
  • Be flexible while also keeping a routine.
  • Provide a safe outlet.
  • Be there to listen

For more info you can call Erin’s House at (260) 423-2466. All of Erin’s House programming is available at no fee for the services provided. Erin’s House staff is also available to speak to you directly or to your classroom/school about grief. You can also go to their website for more details and tips.

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