Teen years are already full of difficulty and change when a teen experiences loss of a parent the difficult can become impossible to a teen that is already dealing with emotions and experiences that can alienate them from normal support systems so learning new coping skills is beneficial as it provides him with emotional resources he can utilize in future crisis. I would make contact with my student as soon as possible after the loss of his mother to limit the time between the loss and my reaching out to my student. I would assure him that all of the feelings he is experiencing are normal and acceptable and I would invite him to express how it is he is feeling and what he is thinking. I would inquire about support systems that may already be in place like grandparents, other extended family, clubs, and sports teams. I would encourage and be open to however my student may want to express himself and even talking about my own experience when I lost my own mom. I would validate any feelings he has and empathize with him and what he is going through. My approach would be to offer him patience and an opportunity to talk with me at least once weekly about his feelings if he so desires changes that have occurred and his future plans. I would invite him to channel his grief in a healthy way like journaling where he can write what he cannot verbalize, scrapbooking where he can put pictures and other mementos to put memories in one place, writing a letter to discuss issues that may have been unresolved with his mom. Finally I would keep a list of community resources that can be used by students experiencing an array of crisis.
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