Going Back to School With a Grieving Heart

August 2, 2017

The back to school season is an exciting time. It can also be overwhelming as you re-establish your day-to-day routines. For a grieving child, though, this time of year can be fraught with emotions as the realization that their special person who died is no longer there to take part in the momentous rituals associated with a new school year. The customary back to school shopping for supplies and clothes, taking a special first day of school photo, and even getting dropped off at school may suddenly feel very unfamiliar and unpredictable.

As a parent, caregiver, or teacher it’s important to be aware of the possible emotional triggers related to the memories a child associates with this time of the year. Following are a few suggestions and tips to help a grieving child ease back into school:

  • Work with the child to establish daily routines. For example: set bed times, wake times, bath/shower times, pick-up and drop-off at school routines. These familiar patterns will offer predictability and structure in the child’s life.
  • Establish and maintain communication with the child’s teacher. Keep the child’s teacher(s) informed of their grief so that they can be mindful and observant as the child adjusts to their new school routines.
  • Be patient. Remember that grief is a process.

For more information on Tu Nidito’s grief support programs contact (520)322-9155 or visit our website

For further reading:

“Going Back to School After a Death”

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