1. Helping Your High Schooler Cope with Loss

    Though a teenager’s understanding of death and grief may be similar to that of an adult, it is important to remember that they are not yet adults. The teen years are often characterized by an internal battle between dependence and independence when it comes to parent-child relationships, and coping with the loss of a loved one is no different. Your teen may be struggling to cope independently in…Read More

  2. Helping Your Middle Schooler Cope with Loss

    Children who are nearing adolescence will have a greater understanding of the concepts associated with death, such as the irreversibility of death and the potential causes. They will also begin to formulate thoughts about how the loss of a loved one will impact their future. The “What if’s” become more apparent at this age. Developmental Understanding Children in the 10- to 12-year-old range…Read More

  3. Helping Your Elementary-Age Child Cope with Loss

    Children ages six to ten will exhibit greater curiosity about death than during previous developmental stages. Some of their questions and words may seem frightening to you as a parent, because they lack the tact of an adult who understands the emotional intricacies associated with loss of a loved one. Developmental Understanding By this age, children typically understand that death is permanent, …Read More

  4. Helping Your Preschooler Cope with Loss

    Preschoolers’ understanding of death is in a tricky developmental stage. With infants and toddlers, physical affection and consistency are key; while this is also true with preschoolers, the verbal aspect of communication is now in play, as well. Developmental Understanding Children of this age equate death with sleeping or going on a trip. Death is not viewed as permanent, because they do not y…Read More

  5. Helping Your Infant or Toddler Cope with Loss

    No matter how young someone is, they will grieve the loss of someone close. Even your infant or toddler will experience a sense of loss when a person who has been around them frequently is suddenly gone. It can feel challenging to try to comfort a baby who is grieving when they cannot understand the concept of death. As adults, we often depend upon language to explain, clarify and heal during time…Read More

  6. Decoding the Language of Text

    IMO, it seems like every week there is a new “newest” and must-have phone, tablet or technological gizmo on the market. Speed and convenience have grown in importance, and the language associated with these new communication tools is rapidly evolving, for better or worse. Emails, texts, tweets and posts are all riddled with abbreviations words that serve as quick ways to share. Teens are typic…Read More

  7. Talking with Kids of All Ages about Tragedy

    As a parent, how do you explain an event as tragic as the Connecticut school shooting to a child, when you can hardly make sense of it yourself? All of the experts say to talk to your child in an “age-appropriate” way, but what does that really mean? The most important part of discussing tragedy with your kids is to be genuine – allow your children to see your emotions, whether they include …Read More

  8. Talking with Your Teen

    Banging your head against a brick wall may feel like a welcome relief after trying to get a response to the question, “How was your day?” from your teenager. While “I dunno,” “fine” and the ever-popular eye-roll-and-sigh-combination may characterize your conversation with your teen right now, there is hope. So what’s the secret to unlocking the inner-workings of your adolescent? Here…Read More

  9. The Language of Play

    Among young children, play is not only a form of entertainment, but a source of expression for feelings and thoughts, a mode of learning, and an important aspect of healthy development. It offers an avenue for you to effectively communicate with your pre-verbal and newly verbal children, as well as building your relationship bonds. When it comes to play, the most important thing to remember is tha…Read More

  10. Common Communication Pitfalls

    We’ve all experienced that moment: Open mouth. Insert foot. “Why did I SAY that?!”. Most of the time, we recognize when we’ve said something hurtful, harsh, or untrue. We are especially vulnerable to such moments when difficult emotions overtake us, such as if we’re feeling frustrated, exasperated, tired, overwhelmed, embarrassed, or angry. The first step in working toward avoiding such …Read More