What Not to Say

“Sometimes not knowing what to say, what would be appropriate to a child who is bereaving, will prevent me from helping them. From reaching out to them.” (Teacher)

Talking about death and grief can be difficult. When reaching out to a child who has recently experienced a loss, even caring and compassionate adults may hesitate, fearful of making comments that are not helpful. This module offers education professionals concrete advice on “what not to say” to grieving students and their families. It offers more constructive alternatives. Use this information to feel more confident that your comments will be supportive and affirming.

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For more information on supporting grieving children, refer to The Grieving Student: A Guide for Schools by David Schonfeld and Marcia Quackenbush.