Five stages of grief

Maggie Kline, LMFT School Psychologist & Therapist, shares advice for parents on the five stages of grief in children and how parents can help their kids through the grief process
The Five Stages Of Grief In Children - Advice For Coping WIth Grief
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Five stages of grief

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Grief has 5 stages, the first stage being denial, because it is a shock especially for a child. The second stage is feeling sadness, the third stage is feeling anger that the person is gone, or maybe some anger for some of the things that were said or done that the child didn't like. The next stage is bargaining. Children, especially children over 7, they’re very good at magical thinking. What they want to do is bring the person back, or the pet back, so they’ll start to say, “I would've, could've, should’ve. If only I had been better behaved, maybe grandma wouldn't have died. Or if I hadn't scolded my cat, maybe the cat would still be here, I must’ve made the cat sick.” So it’s really important to help children through all of these stages and until the final stage which is acceptance that the person or pet is gone, and that they won’t be coming back. That takes longer than working with the shock, because the shock is at the physiological level, and that can be worked through relatively quickly, where grief may take a month or 2, maybe sometimes longer depending on the relationship.

Maggie Kline, LMFT School Psychologist & Therapist, shares advice for parents on the five stages of grief in children and how parents can help their kids through the grief process

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Maggie Kline, LMFT

School Psychologist & Therapist

Maggie Kline has been a marriage, family, and child therapist for almost 30 years, and is a retired school psychologist.  After beginning her professional career as a teacher in 1970, Maggie has continued to garner vast experience with children of all ages from pre-schoolers through teens. She uses Somatic Experiencing (SE) with individuals, couples and families in psychotherapy. She also integrates SE with art, dream work and play when helping youngsters recover from trauma. Maggie is a senior faculty member for the SE Trauma Institute, currently teaching on five continents. She has co-authored two books (listed below) with Peter A. Levine which have been translated into 11 languages,  and has also written "It Won't Hurt Forever", which was published in Mothering  Magazine in 2002.  Most recently, Maggie has originated two seminars for professionals who help traumatized children:  "SE for Kids, A Games-Based Approach" and "Conscious Connections, Providing Reparative Opportunities for Healthy Attachment". She has presented her work in schools and agencies, at conferences, and in mass disaster settings such as the Southeast Asian Tsunami and the Oslo Massacre.

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