Only as Happy as Your Least Happy Child
We have all heard this quote, haven’t we? Parents around the world live by this mantra. There are
no barriers – black, white, yellow, rich, poor, divorced or widowed – this quote hits home.
But let’s focus on the last word – widowed. Living through a spouse’s death is difficult enough for a
widow to navigate but what happens when a child loses a parent? Throw that into the mix of our
grief and now our road to recovery becomes further twisted, lengthened and that much more difficult.
It is imperative, not just for your children’s mental health and well-being but for your own, that you
seek out help for your child(ren) shortly after your spouse’s death. This WILL be pain-staking. This
WILL NOT be easy. In fact, it will be more difficult to find the proper help and therapy for your
child than it will be to find for yourself.
Did you know that school therapists ARE NOT properly trained to deal with a child’s grief in the
classroom? Teachers, administrators and school counselors are the front-line people and the people
that have the most contact with your child during any given day. Yet, even these amazing people
who dedicate their lives to education and the betterment of our children DO NOT have the proper
skills to recognize and properly handle grief in the classroom. And that’s OK! But, that puts the
agonizing onus on us, the grieving parent, to find the proper help for our children. Please do not leave
this alone; please get your child the help they need and deserve.
Classroom teachers report that students who have lost a parent or guardian typically exhibit:
Difficulty concentrating in class (observed by 87% of teachers)
Withdrawal/disengagement and less class participation (observed by 82%)
Absenteeism (observed by 72%)
Decrease in quality of work (observed by 68%)
Less reliability in turning in assignments (observed by 66%)
I have recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Grieving
Children – https://childrengrieve.org/
PLEASE USE US! Please use our resources. Please get your children the help they so need and
deserve. Remember - you are only as happy as your least happy child!