COVID 19 and Grief in Kids

One of the unexpected impacts of the Covid-19 virus is the feeling of grief and loss. 

When our students left their school in the middle of March, most of them were prepared to return at some point. 

They didn’t know that would be the last day.  

The last day to sit at their desks in that classroom.  The last day with their teacher.  The last day with their classmates.  They didn’t know that would be the last time they ate lunch in the cafeteria and played at recess with their friends for this school year. 

Our students are not getting the traditional end of the school year experience.

This is usually complete with field trips, field days, special projects, extra recesses and end the year countdowns. 

They are not getting the traditional goodbyes. 

This can lead to feelings of grief and loss.  You may recall there are 5 stages of grief. 

5 Stages of Grief
These stages are denial and isolation, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance.  

Individuals can experience grief stages in different order. They can bounce between stages.  They can also skip stages entirely. 

Each individual’s experience of grief is different for each situation. 

If your child is experiencing any of these feelings, know it is a normal part of the grief process.  

Much of what is going on right now is beyond our control.  

Here are some things you can do to help your child find closure at the end of this school year:  

  • Participate in any google hangouts or other video lessons your child’s teacher offers (as you are available).  This gives them an opportunity to see their friends and their teacher.  
  • Continue any of your own end of the year traditions.  If you always get Dairy Queen on the last day of school, do that.  Also, take those last day of school pictures.
  • If your teacher doesn’t provide one, pick out an end of the year countdown that works and is fun for your family.  Find a way to mark the end of the school year is coming
  • Write letters, send emails, video messages or mail a  postcard to teachers and friends to say goodbye.

If you feel your child needs additional help in processing their grief, contact me at [email protected] or call 217-203-2008 to schedule a session.  You can also learn more about Champaign Counseling at www.champaigncounseling.com.  

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