Student Services: Helping Children Cope With Grief

Dear Benjamin School Community,
 
It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our beloved Head of School Bob Goldberg. At the same time we can help our children navigate the sad reality of it. Children understand death in remarkably different ways depending on their ages, but all children, regardless of age, learn their coping skills from watching the adults in their lives, especially at a time like this.
 
There are many things we as adults can do to help children and teens cope with grief and death. These are, of course, dependent on the age of each child. 
  • Encourage and accept the expression of feelings. Help your child identify feelings and teach good coping techniques.
  • Be objective and accepting as your child shares thoughts and feelings with you.
  • Ask questions.  “What are you feeling?”  “What have you heard from your friends?”  "What do you think has happened?”
  • Listen to your child. It isn’t necessary to always talk or to come up with answers.  
  • Don’t expect to give answers. If you cannot answer a question, it is okay to say so. For example, “I don’t know how to answer that, but perhaps we can find someone who can.” or “That’s a really good question. Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.”
  • Model calm and control for your child.
  • Tell your child the truth and use the correct language. It is fine to use the words “dead” or “died.”
  • Set aside regular time for your child to talk with you, but be available when he/she wants to talk.
  • Reach out and touch or hold your child. Children find great comfort in this. Allow your child to comfort you.
  • Be patient. The work of grief takes time.
Bob Goldberg was an extraordinary man who loved The Benjamin School and whose legacy will remain with the School always. Each of us is a better person for having had him in our lives. We will be celebrating his life and rich legacy in many ways. Our Student Services counselors and teachers are available to you and your children. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns and let us know how we can be of help.
 
Student Services
 
Lower/Middle School:
Susan Poncy
Kathy Bailey
Danielle Benvenuto
 
Upper School:
Amy Taylor
Renea Yates
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A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.