Kids and Teens
For children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have lost a loved one. KIDZ & Teens are divided into groups according to their age. (New Hope for KIDZ & Teens group meets at the same time and place as our Circles of Hope group. You are encouraged to participate in either group whether or not you have a family member in the other group.)
2nd and 4th Tuesday - 7:00-8:30 p.m.
(June, July, August & December - Meet only 2nd Tuesday)
First Church of Nazarene
21260 Haggerty Rd. (north of 8 Mile Rd.)
Northville, MI 48167
Who Needs Kid’s Groups – “I’m Fine!”
After the death of someone close to them, adults know how they feel – usually awful! Adults also know what their questions, thoughts and fears are. Am I crazy? Could I have done something to keep this death from happening? Am I the only one who feels like this? These questions and many more often propel adults towards support groups where they quickly learn that they’re not alone and that their thoughts and feelings are completely normal.
Children have the same needs for reduction of isolation and normalizing of feelings that adults do. Unfortunately, they don’t often let us know about those needs. Children are very invested in keeping conflicts, fears, worries and sadness out of their awareness. For many children this “burying” results in stomach aches, headaches, trouble sleeping, withdrawal or anxiety. One kid verbalized this and said, “I’ve got my feelings stuffed deep inside and I’m going to stuff them even deeper!” When this hidden grief is combined with our adult wish that our children would not be affected too much by their loss, the stage can be set for us to miss the child’s need for support.
The New Hope for KIDZ groups are not groups for “troubled children”, rather the focus of the groups is to make sure the child’s loss does not throw him or her off track developmentally. Children are made comfortable by the use of many indirect approaches like art, puppet skits and group stories.
Children have expressed great relief at knowing that there are others like them. They also are helped immensely by learning adaptive ways to cope with their feelings and the many changes in their life. Whether your child’s loss was recent or quite a while ago, consider enrolling your child in a children’s group. Leaders can spot potential difficulties before they become big problems and they can assist you in helping your child.
When children are asked what can help a kid feel better after someone special dies, they reply: “kids should come to a group like this and get to know other kids who had the same thing happen to them.” One little girl said we should “get a bigger sign and put lights on it so more kids would know about the groups.” If you care about a bereaved child, please consider one of the fine groups available.