My teen was already showing signs of depression and anxiety before his father passed due to Covid. How can I help him manage the grief while we face the holidays without his father for the first time?
Dear Mother, My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
As we move into the holidays, memories and emotions will likely surface for the both of you. It's important to keep in mind, that while grief is a shared experience, we all grieve differently, and at our own pace.
While giving your son space to process, watch for signs of depression or suicidality. Check in periodically, and wait out the teenage angst. Be available to truly hear his regrets and confessions without judgement. It is a normal part of grief.
Find ways to engage your son differently this holiday season. Start a new tradition, such as having your son make your husband's favorite dish this year for Thanksgiving, or buy a new ornament each year to represent a silly side of his dad or a favorite team or another aspect of his personality.
This may also be a time to consider options available to him should he need additional support. Such as connecting with a school social worker/councilor. Reaching out to friends and family. Looking into grief council options through your insurance, or event joining a local grief support group such as griefshare.org.
We often push our own emotions aside to protect and care for our children. Allow yourself to sit with your own thoughts and emotions. Help normalize the grieving process for your son. In the end, it will allow you to be a stronger support system for him during these difficult times.
Below are some helpful resources should you need them:
· Depression Assessment - https://www.apa.org/depression-guideline/assessment
· Maricopa County Crisis Line – 602-222-9444
· Teen Lifeline – 602-248-8337
· Find a Local Grief Support Group – griefshare.org
My thoughts and prayers are with you this holiday season.
Coach & Consultant
For more resources on managing grief during the holidays, visit alimentallife.com
To submit a question email
PO Box 1861, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340