When are memorial services appropriate for children

Peter Levine, PhD, Author of Trauma Proofing Your Kids, shares advice for parents on when it is appropriate to bring your child to a memorial service after the loss of a loved one
When Are Memorial Services Appropriate For Children To Attend?
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When are memorial services appropriate for children

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Peter Levine: Part of the grieving process is accepting that a friend or a playmate or a relative has died. And sometimes going to a memorial can be helpful. But at the same time, sometimes if the child is too young or really not prepared, then it can be too much. It may even be traumatizing. I think that parents, most parents have a pretty good feeling about what’s right for their children. And of course, they’re not going to be correct 100% of the time. And I think it’s important for parents to follow their gut instincts, to follow their intuitions. Whatever they do is to give the support to the child. To let them know that the feeling their having are not only okay, that they’re natural and that they’re good. And maybe also to work with the child drawing pictures about their friend, about things that they did together, or about their grandparents. So that they can feel the positive connection. Because if you’re in a group where there are many people; if somebody starts crying or screaming, that could be overwhelming to the child. So I wish I had an absolute or authoritative answer to this and I don’t. And I really trust you, the parents to make the right decision for your children.

Peter Levine, PhD, Author of Trauma Proofing Your Kids, shares advice for parents on when it is appropriate to bring your child to a memorial service after the loss of a loved one

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Peter A. Levine, PhD

Author of Trauma Proofing Your Kids & Developer of Somatic Experiencing

Peter A. Levine, PhD, holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing, a body-awareness approach to healing trauma, and founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which conducts trainings in this work throughout the world. Dr. Levine was a stress consultant for NASA on the development of the space shuttle project. Levine’s international best-seller, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, has been translated into 24 languages. Levine’s contribution was honored in 2010 when he received the Lifetime Achievement award  Recognizing Outstanding Professionals in the Field of Child/Adolescent Mental Health from the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center.

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