Funerals are an important opportunity for family members to say goodbye to a loved one, but attending one can be a daunting prospect for a teenager, particularly if it's their first experience of losing someone close to them. If your teen doesn't want to attend a relative's funeral, here are some things you can do to handle the situation.
Should Teenagers Be Forced to Attend Funerals?
It is never a good idea to force a teenager to attend a funeral. The teen is likely to resent it, which will drive a wedge between you at a time when the family needs to work together to get through the grieving process. Don't use threats, guilt trips or bribes to make your child attend; instead let them make their own decision.
Demystifying the Funeral Process for Teens
Many teenagers have never attended a funeral before, which means they may not know what to expect. Your teen might be more willing to attend the funeral if they know what will happen. Take the time to explain the whole process, including details of the planned service. Your teen may want to visit the funeral home or chapel before the funeral to familiarise themselves with the environment.
Coming to a Compromise
Even if your teen doesn't want to attend the whole funeral, they may be willing to attend some parts of it. For example, some teens may not be comfortable viewing the body of the deceased person or watching the coffin be lowered into the grave, but they may benefit from attending the ceremony in the chapel. Give your teen the option of attending only part of the funeral if they can't cope with the other parts.
Making Time to Grieve Together
Whether or not your teen chooses to attend the funeral of a loved one, you need to give them plenty of opportunities to remember the person they lost. Offer to accompany your teen to the cemetery to visit the grave and always be ready to listen if they want to talk about their feelings. You may want to suggest looking at old photo albums or home videos together, so your teen can remember spending happy times with the person who has died. Of course, if your teen isn't ready to do any of these things yet, you need to wait until they are ready to open up. This may take several weeks or even months after the death, so be patient.Share
22 July 2016
Welcome to my blog. My name is Molly, and a few years ago, I lost my husband to heart disease. He had only just turned fifty, and it wasn't anything we were expecting. Through my intense grief, I had to host and organise a funeral. I wanted to include religious elements from our pasts, but I also wanted to be true to the non-religious but spiritual beliefs of my husband. I think many people are in the same position, and if you are, I want to help you. This blog focuses on making funerals meaningful. It provides tips, ideas, facts and more. I hope it inspires you.