In previous articles, I’ve already discussed some reasons that adolescent grief is different to adult grief, but there are also other things to consider beyond bereavement itself. There are other forms of loss that a teenager might experience.
A teenager might experience loss when their siblings move out of home to go to university, get married or so on. They will have to adjust to life without their sibling. They will spend less time with them, mealtimes will be different and so on. This will also affect the dynamic within the family. Some teenagers or younger child may experience a divorce or separation within their family, which will again lead to a grieving process. Some children/teenagers may have experience abuse, sexually, physically or mentally, which results in a loss of their innocence and control over their own bodies.
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As teenagers grow, they may begin to have relationships with others. This process is a natural adolescent process – they will start relationships and probably end relationships. Again, this will lead to them developing and grieving. Along with the relationships, they may develop sexual relationships. This can lead to another type of loss if a girl becomes pregnant. If she keeps the child, she potentially loses her future career (even if only in the short term), her innocence, her freedom and so on. The father of the baby will also be affected as he may support the girl. If they choose not to keep the baby, the mother and father then have to live with the emotional consequences of abortion or adoption, which can affect them later in life, for example, if they have future pregnancies. Children and teenagers may also experience the death of a pet, which can affect them profoundly. These are only examples of the type of losses that teenagers can experience, as well as bereavements – loss of parents/siblings/grandparents/friends and so on.
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