Some suggestions of things not to say to a grieving child or teen...

“You’re the man of the house now. Be strong for your Mom and sister.” Often times we add extra pressure to kids and teens without even realizing it. We need to remember that boys are NOT adults and that they need to grieve in their own way without the pressure of trying to stay strong and take care of their family. “I know how you feel.” Even if you have had a loved one die, everyone grieves uniquely and no two people have the exact same feelings.

“Don’t cry, you shouldn't be angry.” Children and teens need to know that both emotions are okay. We need to validate their feelings as well as offer healthy and appropriate ways to express those feelings.

“Your grief will pass.” Although, grief can get better in time, often times grief never fully goes away.

“Talking about your loved one upsets others.” This may or may not be true for some people but it is important for children and teens to know that it is okay to talk about their loved one and to share memories.

Grief is hard. We don’t always know what to say, but don’t underestimate your presence in a grieving child’s life. God is using you to be there, to listen and to comfort.