Honestly, I can't give you a magic formula to plug in and heal a grieving child. But I can help you organize your thinking in a way which aligns with best practice (and connects with our heart songs). I ask you tweak it, modify it and work to create a plan that is right for you and the children in your care.
This framework, Six Guiding Principles for Providing Grief Support in the Classroom, is a thoughtfully suggested starting point. My intent is to illuminate, not to direct. This is a logical and research-based action plan for you to consider as you work to provide compassionate care for grieving children specific to school and care settings. To write it, I've examined bereavement support theory, engaged in course work with experts in the grief support field and I continue to nurture grieving children and families. I've cut away at the underbrush and created a clearing to help you provide this life changing assistance for children.
Six Guiding Principles for Providing Grief Support in the Classroom
- Allow children to direct their own grief journeys.
- Understand children’s responses to grief.
- Integrate childhood bereavement support with good teaching practice.
- Proactively teach children about life and death.
- Work to prevent isolation for grieving children.
- Identify local bereavement support resources.
The success of these guiding principles hinges completely on giving a grieving child your full attention. When you give someone your full attention, you create a greater connection. And when you create a greater connection, you shape a more positive outcome. Every teacher must know how to support a grieving child, and this is where you begin.
If this is useful to you, and you want to learn more, please sign up for this blog. Share this with other educators and adults caring for children. Consider my workshop and look for my forthcoming guide for educators. Thank you for caring so very much about children that you would seek to find new ways to nurture bereaved hearts.
Copyright (2015) Suzanne Bayer. All Rights Reserved.