Counselor gives advice on how to speak with children about grief - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Counselor gives advice on how to speak with children about grief

(source: KCBD video) (source: KCBD video)

Faculty, staff and students at O.L. Slaton Middle School in Lubbock are mourning the loss of one of their own, after an eighth grader died at school on Tuesday afternoon.

LISD officials say a faculty member found the female student unresponsive behind the curtains in the school auditorium.

EMS was called to the school, but they were unable to revive her.

Lubbock police and LISD police are continuing to investigate the cause of death, but they say they do not suspect foul play.

Crisis counselors will be available for the entire O.L. Slaton community throughout the week, offering individual and group support.

We also spoke with a local grief counselor to find out how you can talk to your children about this sensitive subject.

Dr. Michael Hardin, a local grief counselor and department chair of Behavioral Sciences at Lubbock Christian University says while it can be an uncomfortable conversation, it's important for parents to engage with their children during these hard times.

"To let them be able to talk this out, ask those questions and say I don't know. I don't know is one of the best answers to give. What we don't want to do is give false information, or to start information that, untrue information being spread. So it's really important to let the child talk, and to be able to be ok with the fact that we don't have all of the answers," Dr. Hardin said.

He says especially since this could be the first time your child is experiencing loss, they will need the support and listening ear of family.

"Our children do want us to be genuine. So if you show emotion that is ok. Be careful not to share anxiety though. Sometimes we could get so scared that this may happen to our own children that we push them away instead of being the safe place where they can go and talk about really difficult situations," he said.

Dr. Hardin says he encourages parents to also utilize other counseling resources.

"There may be people at, a trusted adult outside of the family within your community. Whether that be church or within school, that you feel comfortable for that to be a trusted adult in your child's life. I highly encourage for you to reach out of the family. If they're not talking within the family, find them a place that they are comfortable to talk," Dr. Hardin said.

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