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Bereavement advice

Discussion in 'Personal' started by found nemo, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Can anyone offer any advice on supporting a teenage student who has lost a parent? I have not been in this situation before and I am anxious to give them as much support as possible. I will be seeing them before the Easter holidays and don't really know what to say that won't sound trite. As a tutor, can anyone suggest anything to help once they are back in school? Thanks so much for any words of wisdom.
     
  2. TC7

    TC7

    There was a write up in the ATL magazine recently about dealing with bereavement from the school tutor point of view. I think it depends on the student, I think you must acknowedge their loss and let them take the lead often they feel that the remaining parent has their own grief to deal with plus practical things that they need someone outside to express their feelings to or just talk through the situation.
     
  3. Thanks for your reply. I should have the magazine somewhere. One of the problems is that is is no remaining parent. Student is very quiet and quite introverted. I will of course acknowledge her loss but want to avoid platitudes.
     
  4. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I wouldn't worry too much if the occasional cliche slips into how you deal with a bereaved person - we all do it, nobody holds it against you, and it's better to say something than nothing at all. If they want to talk to you, just listen. If they don't, then try and make sure they talk to someone without being too obtrusive about it. Like you say, acknowledge the loss - it'll mean a lot to hear it from someone even if they'd rather not. You tend to remember those who took the trouble to say something when you've lost someone, and you also remember those who didn't bother.
     
  5. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    It sounds like you did exactly the right thing!
     
  6. pibydd

    pibydd New commenter

    I suggest you have a look here. Free downloads. I've found their material helpful in helping students who ahve suffered a bereavement and those coping with a terminally ill relative.
    http://www.winstonswish.org.uk/
    Some counties do have their own service based on the Winston's wish type approach. If your school has a disasters policy there might be information in there.
     
  7. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    I was going to say Nemo, that she will probably want to be treated as normally as possible, and allowed to talk about her mum, if that is what she wants to do.
    My daughter had a boy in her class last year who lost his dad to cancer. Obviously they were a bit younger at 11, but he started to talk to her one night on msn about his dad, and I encouraged her to chat with him about it, and let him talk. He said in the conversation that one of the most difficult things, was that no one would talk to him about his dad, and always tried to change the subject when he mentioned it.
    As I said, I was going to say it, but don't need to, as it sounds like you have handled things the right way yourself. I am sure she will appreciate it.
     
  8. I don't know what part of the country you are in, but perhaps take a look at
    http://www.noahsarktrust.co.uk/
    They support children and young people following parental/close family bereavement around Herefordshire and Worcestershire, but they may be able to advise you of other similar services in your area.
    As others have already said, it sounds like you have been great. My mum always told me to never ignore someone's loss, however, hard or uncomfortable it is for us to address it. She lost her father as a teenager, and said it was the lack of acknowledgement that made it even more devastating. It felt to her as if no one cared or had even noticed.

     

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