At Passare, we’ve covered how to help young children grieving a loss, but what about adolescents? Do they often get neglected in the grieving process? We’d like to share a story that examines six ways teens exhibit grief differently than children or adults. Understanding these differences can be key to helping one in your life cope with a loss. Their loss is often sudden and traumatic Adolescents often lose loved ones suddenly. In fact, the leading causes of death in adolescence are accidents, suicides and homicide. Even the death of a parent from natural causes may feel unexpected to an adolescent. They can be isolated in their grief An adolescent’s growing independence may prevent them from seeking support from adults. Unless you know they’re grieving, it may be hard to know whether a loss has even occurred. Take time to have a private conversation. They want normalcy when grieving In a time of loss, teens are likely to keep grief at a distance. Peer support groups and teen grief camps (like Comfort Zone Camps and Camp Erin) can be safe places for grieving teens to feel normal with others who’ve had the same experience. They turn to the Internet to cope Adolescents turn to the Internet for support. While support can be found online, the information may not be accurate and it could expose them to cruel comments. Guide adolescents to safe places to share their grief like Hellogrief.org, monitored by Comfort Zone Camps. They will question their beliefs Part of adolescence is asking, “What is it that I believe?” Adults supporting grieving teens need to encourage them to explore their spirituality and grief in an open and honest way. Other behaviors will mask their grief Acting out, substance abuse, and eating disorders may be how an adolescent copes with loss. Try to understand the motivations behind such behaviors. Read the story here.