Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Grief Recovery Phases for Children/Adolescents

Grief Recovery Phases for Children/Adolescents


Symptoms of those who are struggling with Grief

A. Suicidal hints (survivor’s guilt, “Why were they killed and my life spared?”).

B. Psychosomatic problems (increase in reports of headaches, stomachaches, or
other physical symptoms).

C. Difficulties with school work (concentrating, going to school).

D. Nightmares or sleep disorders (can’t get to sleep, need a night light on).

E. Changes in eating patterns (loss of appetite).

F. Temporary regression from otherwise normal behavior (bed wetting, wanting
to sleep in the same bedroom as parents or siblings).

G. Not wanting to go to school.

Suggestions to get your Child/Adolescent moving through Grief


A. Ask them to describe the incident and their activities, including what they did,
heard, saw, smelled, etc. What was the first thought they remembered at the
scene or when hearing or seeing it on television? What mental pictures about
your sibling do they remember most? What feelings did they first experience?
What are they feeling now? What are they worried or afraid of the most?

B. Creative writing. Have them journal their feelings or write down all their
feelings. Help them look up comforting Scriptures to give them assurance from
God’s Word and His promises.

C. Write letters to their deceased sibling.

D. Creative Art. Have them draw, paint, or do a collage regarding their siblings

E. Write music about their siblings death, how they are grieving, and the hope
they have in God.

F. Make commemorative memorials and visit the cemetery.

Dr Dan Trathen is a minister, psychologist, international co-author, and national speaker. He lives in Colorado with his wife, children and grandchildren.

© Daniel W. Trathen DMin, PhD

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