For Immediate 24/7 assistance
Phone: 775-322-9200
Fax: 775-322-6290

P.O. Box 2462
Reno, NV 89505
Phone: 775-322-9200
Fax: 775-322-6290


  • Be aware of what you yourself are feeling. Have some safe ways of expressing your feelings both with children and teen(s) and away from them.
  • Provide ample time and a comfortable physical space to listen.
  • Respect whatever unique ways children and teens express their feelings. Know that their expression is likely to be intense, brief and repeated.
  • Listen, be present and listen more.
  • Arrange some physical methods (clay, paints, old magazines, blocks, etc.) for children to express their feelings.
  • Do not overload children with information. Answer only the questions they ask. Be patient when they repeatedly ask the same question(s).
  • Offer appropriate choices for decision-making. Death may bring feelings of losing control.
  • Answer children’s question(s) with simplicity and honesty. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer. Describe death and dying in literal items.
  • Remember that young children will generalize and associate about important people and emotions. For example: if a sibling died in the hospital, then hospitals are likely to induce certain fears.
  • Know that a child will grieve cyclically – at each new developmental level he or she will relive their loss as they continue to integrate the loss into their life at new stages.
  • Observe that a child grieves as part of a family, and the entire family structure has shifted. This may mean a change in roles and an additional loss to their grief.
  • Respect, encourage, and honor a child’s feelings, whether they are fear, sadness, guilt, anger or love. These are natural feelings that help the child process, integrate and heal from the loss.
  • Grief is ongoing. Grief never ends, but it does change in character and intensity.
  • Plan ahead for birthdays, holidays, and other special days.
  • Let children, teens and their families know that you care.

Prepared by The Solace Tree for Grieving Children, Teens & Families. For more information, visit