The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) wants to express our sympathies to the residents of Newtown, CT. We want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and that our hearts break with yours. With the outpouring of support from around the United States, we hope that you all know that you are not alone. Your community has come together in the face of this tragedy and stands as a beacon for others to follow – the heroism, grace, compassion and commitment to one another is truly an inspiration to all of us. Yet, we know that words are inadequate during times like this and so along with our condolences, we want to provide you with some resources that might be helpful in the days to come as you provide comfort to your children.
The NAGC is a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the needs of grieving children and providing education and resources to those offering comfort and support to grieving kids. Our hundreds of members throughout the United States provide counseling, support groups and encouragement to children and teenagers grieving the death of someone in their life. Corporately, we have journeyed with thousands of children and their families as they work to rebuild their lives after a tragedy and these individuals and families have taught us much. We want to share some of the wisdom we have learned over the years regarding grieving children and how to help them. Below you will find suggestions and several links to helpful information for parents, schools and community members to better understand how grief impacts a child and how to be supportive to kids as they grieve.
What do children need during times like this?
- Children need understanding and support from kind, caring adults in their lives that they trust. LEARN MORE
- Children need concrete information about what happened, but not all the gruesome details. LEARN MORE
- Children need the opportunity to participate in rituals, such as memorial services, funerals, candlelight vigils and other community gatherings, but also require clear, concise information about what to expect and the choice to participate or not. LEARN MORE
- Children spend most of their day at school with their teachers. They need their schools to acknowledge the tragedy, to model resilient behavior, to create opportunities for a corporate response and to answer their concerns in a clear, encouraging and honest way. LEARN MORE
Here are some subjects that might come up during a time like this:
- Children and Funerals
- Talking to Children in the Classroom
- Suggestions for Talking to Children in the Home
- Talking with Children Directly Impacted by a Traumatic Situation Involving Multiple Deaths
- Grief Support for Children in My Area