Adverse Childhood Experiences: How to help a grieving child

Local News

Rays of Hope offers coping mechanisms

MIDLAND, Texas (BIG 2/ FOX 24)- It’s a loss that not many people talk about; a child grieving without physically losing a loved one.

“Lots of families don’t talk about this until it’s already happening which is pretty normal, society doesn’t want to talk about grief until it’s kinda already hit and then it’s too late to be trying to explain it because not their already learning it first hand,” says Jesse Morgan, LMSW, who is also the Director of Rays of Hope in Midland.

Morgan says it can be anything from “divorce, separation, parent’s being incarcerated, parents being deployed, foster care, really any type of painful transition.”

Adverse Childhood Experiences are more common than we think and they are something no child should go through alone.

“We like to call them ACES are pretty much stressful or traumatic events that occur before the age of 18. That might be abuse, neglect, witnessing intimate partner violence really a variety of things can kinda cause that trauma before the age of 18,” says the Director.

According to the CDC, the more ACEs a child experiences the higher the risk for things like alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, and even suicide.

Morgan says “kids mirror you and kids learn how to grieve like we’re grieving so if we’re punching holes in the wall every day then the kids are going to punch holes in the wall.”

The CDC adds that preventing ACEs can decrease adult depression by 44%, making a support system all the more crucial.

“You just have to be there you have to create a safe space for them. Use tools of expression such as art or music, drama, photography just different things to kind of help them work through what they’re going through,” says Morgan.

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