Children and teens can struggle to cope with grief - and they grieve differently than adults. For that reason, it is important to allow them to communicate their feelings with their peers who have experienced a similar loss.
Modeled after the Dougy Center, our KIDZ'NGRIEF bereavement program offers grief education and support to children and teens as they cope with the multitude of changes and emotions they experience after the death of a family member or close friend. The program encourages children and teens to ask questions and talk about the person who has died through a range of innovative activities, including games, art, puppets, role-plays, and stories. These activities can help children adjust to the physical loss of their loved one.
We offer a variety of bereavement support groups for children and groups for adults who bring children to KIDZ'NGRIEF. These programs are open to families from anywhere in Hampton Roads. We also hold a weekend Mikey's Camp in the Fall.
Because KIDZ'NGRIEF is underwritten by private donations, the program is free-of-charge to all participants.
Our program has been successful at reducing children's and teen's sense of isolation, lessening the intensity and duration of overwhelming grief reactions and teaching healthy alternatives for expressions of grief. We believe that children can eventually reach a place of resolution and adjustment to loss.
KIDZ'NGRIEF meets in Newport News, Virginia on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, September through June, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Children may enroll and attend anytime during the year. We also hold a weekend "Mikey's Camp" in the Fall.
For children to have the appropriate grief counseling, we divide our participants up by age:
3-5 year olds
6-8 year olds
9-10 year olds
Middle School Group
High School Group
Phoenix Rising (ages 18-25)
The program also offers a "volcano room," where children ages 3-12 can go to "let out the big stuff" in a special room, facilitated by caring adults.
To register, call Beth Pile at 757-737-2287.