Children grieve differently from adults. Adults may feel bereft and empty when someone dies that they loved deeply, but they know they will survive. On the other hand, children who lose a parent go through a range of emotions—panic, pain, terror, confusion. After all, if the parent they depended on can be snatched away from them, then nothing is safe, predictable, or secure anymore.
Bereaved children are at a much greater risk for psychological and behavioral problems. They are more likely to struggle with addiction or incarceration than kids who haven’t experienced such trauma.
Children who are able to maintain emotional connections with their deceased mothers or fathers are more likely to adapt to their loss in a healthy manner and to avoid emotional, psychological, physical, and behavioral problems.
Our innovative Tradition Program meets the following clinically identified needs:
- Continuing Bonds – Traditions encourage children to build and maintain an enduring relationship and emotional connection with the parent who has died.
- Time to Grieve – Children continue to adapt to the death of their parent and what it means in the context of new events or life stages. The longevity and continuity of the Tradition Program nurture and sustain family connections including with the deceased parent, throughout the child’s development process.
- Child Focused and Family Based – The Tradition Program is family based rather than support group oriented. It is child directed – designed and fulfilled as the grieving child directs, not as someone else determines.
- Foster Post-Traumatic Growth & Resilience (GRiT) – Post-Traumatic Growth is more than “a return to baseline”, it is a positive change experienced by the struggle with a major life crisis or traumatic event.
- Support for Surviving Caregivers – Children are not resilient in a vacuum. Our Tradition Program provides opportunities for intra-family connection, communication and engagement.