Supporting Children During the Holiday Season
By Lisa Coffey, EdS, NCSP, Member, School Safety and Crisis Response Committee
As we enter in the joyful holiday season, it is important to remember that these months can also present challenges for some children and families who have experienced loss. This time of year can remind children and families about what has changed significantly and how their worlds are different from before. Individuals may experience feelings of loneliness and sadness during these special occasions. There are several resources available highlighting ways to provide support during the holiday season. The resources below can be shared with staff and families who could benefit from guidance as they enter the winter holiday months.
- The National Alliance for Grieving Children has a Holiday Toolkit: Supporting Grieving Children During the Season of Family which provides activities for the holiday season to celebrate and remember loved ones.
- The Coalition to Support Grieving Students has a document, titled Grief Over the Holidays: Educators Can Help Students Cope, with suggestions of how educators can provide support during the holidays.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a webinar: Holidays, Celebrations and Traumatically Bereaved Children. The webinar discusses how holidays can be reminders of grief and shares strategies for how caregivers can provide support to bereaved children.
- The American Cancer Society website’s Coping With Grief During the Holidays page provides general tips on how to help get through difficult times.
- The NASP website offers School Safety and Crisis Resources handouts related titled Addressing Grief.