Please answer original forum on separate page
minimum of 400 words
respond to each student on separate pages with 200 words minimum each
follow direction or I will dispute
page 1 – original forum with references
page 2- Caroline Response
page 3- Caitlyn Response
Last week we created scripts for open ended questions with children, often being able to guide children through putting words to questions and fears and misconceptions is the first part of developing coping skills. Sometimes finding the right words to guide the child with, or even for the child to find a word that they’ve never before used within the context of a loss, is even more challenging.
This week we’ll be finding creative ways to guide children through word discovery–finding a therapeutic project that we can create a positive memory through, and even help children develop words that they otherwise wouldn’t have in this context.
One example (one of my favorites, and truly one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in action) is the creation of luminaries shared in the Camp Erin video. Kids who aren’t ready to express grief through words can experience much needed therapeutic input as they create something very personal and prepare to memorialize the person who’s died. The words may not be present, but the actions and feelings are very much present, and it’s tasks such as these that often are the first step in healing for children!
Find and share a single activity that is therapeutic in nature, and can be used to help a child successfully cope with a death. An activity manageable (with support) by a child, meaning it “speaks” to them without requiring them to verbally share their experience. What is a positive way for a child to recreate (even if mentally) and save a memory? What types of activities can give a child closure (even if that closure is simply that the child isn’t alone in their grief)?
Pinterest is a terrific place to start looking– and you can start pinning what you find for your Memory Box project due later in the course.
In the past, many theorists and researchers did not describe a child’s reaction to death as “grief.” A young child’s reaction to death appeared to be comparably less stressful and short-lived. According to recent research, however, children – even infants – do experience acute “grief,” and sometimes, the feelings are even life-threatening. As a result, it is very important for a child, who is experiencing grief, to be provided with opportunities to release pent-up emotions and relive memories through actions, feelings, and/or words (Meier & Eddy, 2011). It can be difficult, however, especially for children, to express their grief in words. Sometimes, the words may just not come. A child who isn’t ready to express his/her grief in words can experience therapeutic input by creating a personal project to memorialize the person who has died. For example, the child can create a remembering ornament.
To create a remembering ornament, the child will need one translucent ornament (preferably plastic), lots of ribbon (6-10 different colors), squares or strips of paper (depending on whether the child wants to write or draw his/her memories), beads, stars, snowflakes (or any other small, shiny objects), markers, pens, and colored pencils. Lay out each of the colored ribbons on a table. For each colored ribbon, assign one emotion that the child feels when he/she thinks about the person whom he/she has lost. An older child can label his/her own emotions. For a younger child, you may want to provide him/her with a list of emotions to choose from; then, he/she can sort the ribbons accordingly. Lay out the shiny objects, and label them “memories.” Lay out the strips (or squares) of paper as well as the markers, pens, and/or colored pencils. Finally, give the child his/her ornament. When the child is ready, the child will begin to fill his/her ornament with the different “emotions” (ribbon) that he/she feels when thinking about the loved one who has passed. Then, the child will fill his/her ornament with “memories” (beads) that he/she has shared with that loved one. For an older child, you may want to limit the memories to holiday memories, as this is a holiday activity. For a younger child, you may want to make it any memory, as he/she may have fewer holiday memories to remember. Next, the child will use his/her strips (or squares) of paper to write or draw whatever he/she would like, pertaining to the person who has died. For example, the child might write a message to his/her loved one or draw a memory that he/she has recently shared with his/her loved one. Finally, the child will fill his/her ornament with the strips (or squares) of paper, close up the ornament, and tie a ribbon to the top. Then the ornament will be ready to display.
This activity is one of many ways in which children can acknowledge grief, specifically during the holiday season. That being said, however, the ornament can be displayed as decoration for any time of year, too.
Meier, D. F., & Eddy, D. B. (2011). Children and Grief: Developmentally Speaking. Retrieved from http:// counselingoutfitters.com/vistas/vistas11/Article_86.pdf.
Remembering Ornament: A Holiday Grief Activity for Kids & Teens. (2017). Retrieved from https://whats yourgrief.com/holiday-grief-activity-for-kids-teens
The holidays are really tough for people of all ages experiencing grief. The memories of their loved one can feel overwhelming and sometimes it seems like “someone is missing” from the holiday and family (Doka, 1995).
In the grief support group that I observed, we talked about holidays being a really hard time for people who have lost someone important to them. One of the participants described it as “feeling like there’s always an empty seat at the table”. Another described the feeling of being excited and wanting to share something with that person and then you realize you can’t and it feels like “you just reached out but only grabbed onto air”. Kids, especially, struggle with holidays and missing their family members, but may not have the same words to express their feelings. Their routines are already different with the holiday times, their traditions may be different after their loved one has died and there is somebody important to them who isn’t able to be there. A Memory Lantern is a way for kids to remember a few favorite memories with their loved one, while also utilizing drawings to express grief.
The CCLS and kids start by talking about the project, explaining that the kids will be making a lantern to decorate the house/table/etc. and can show them the supplies. The supplies needed are 3-4 medium colorful squares of tissue paper, a mason jar, markers, and lights.
Kids pick out pieces of tissue paper and draw their favorite memories on it with marker (other drawing instruments may rip the paper, marker seems to work the best). While they are drawing, the CCLS and child can talk about the child/family’s holiday traditions, emotions, what they picked to draw about, the loved one they are missing and thinking about, the good memories they had together, and anything else that comes up during conversation. The child can explain the memories to the CCLS as they are drawing, or choose not to. After the child is finished drawing on the tissue paper, use modge podge to attach it to the outside of a mason jar and then put a little modge podge over the top of the tissue paper. After the tissue paper is dry, a real candle, LED candle or string lights can be put into the glass jar and will light up the colorful memories! This can also be a great activity for non-holiday times and can be used as a colorful night light, always reminding them of their loved one.
Edited to add: after reading another person’s post about introducing colorful ribbons and assigning (or the child choosing) emotions they felt about that person for each colored ribbon, I would add this to the lantern. After the conversation about emotions and grief, I would have the child tie those colorful ribbons around the mouth of the jar to add color/decoration and the ability for the child to express their emotions aside from the ones tied to the memories they drew.
Doka, Kenneth J. (1995). Children Mourning, Mourning Children. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.