Tools for Handling Back-to-School Season While Grieving

Tools For Handling Back-to-School Season While Grieving.

After a long summer break, it can be challenging to return to a school routine. When you combine the element of grief, it can be particularly challenging for the entire family. Children and teens who are processing their own grief will likely find this change in their day-to-day activities overwhelming and with that experience increased anxiety. If you are a parent or caregiver of a grieving child or teen, the feeling of being overwhelmed might be familiar.

Tu Nidito offers one-on-one and group support twice every month to children and families going through a serious medical diagnosis or the death of a loved one. Each time, our Support Specialists are there to provide support and comfort in a warm and welcoming environment. 

Here are some tools we hope you find useful to practice at home during this back-to-school season:

1. Take care of yourself.

Any sort of activity while grieving might seem difficult, but any steps you can make to practice self care will make a difference. Children feel better supported and understood by a healthy adult.

2. Listen.

Be there and take the time to listen. By being open with your own experience of grief and sharing memories and stories, it will open the door for deeper communication. Even when they have nothing to say at a given point, remind them that you are there to listen should they want to share their feelings.

3. Create Your Own Little Nest.

 You can pick a spot in your home for you and your child or teen that feels comforting and safe. Take a moment after or before school to let them express and release heavy emotions should they arise. This practice can also be a great source of comfort on difficult days such as birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. 

4. Take it one day at a time.

When grieving, most of the intense parts of it take longer to overcome than one might think. Be patient with yourself and provide the same approach to your child or teen. Celebrate small achievements or progress made at school. These may include making a new acquaintance or praise from a teacher.

This adorable book explores a unique way to connect with your kiddos when they are away. For younger children, school is a big change from their daily routine at home. Tu Nidito’s “Little’s” group read this book during August. It can give them the courage and comfort when they feel heavy emotions during their grief in the school day.

We hope that you find these tools useful during this back-to-school season, and will serve as a reminder that you are not alone. 

Tu Nidito employs a trained Community Outreach Director who provides resources and education to the Southern Arizona community including school personnel, social services, and community organizations. We are here for our community. If you would like to arrange a workshop for your organization you can request it here. 

Full articles and more detail can be found by visiting these websites: 

https://nacg.org/resource-library/ 

https://grievingstudents.org/