The Grieving Child in the Classroom: A Guide for School-Based Professionals, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Grieving Child in the Classroom

A Guide for School-Based Professionals, 1st Edition

By Sue Trace Lawrence


248 pages

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Paperback: 9780367145552
pub: 2019-12-20
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The Grieving Child in the Classroom integrates the latest research on children’s bereavement and adapts it for use in the classroom.

Chapters tackle the neurological, cognitive, emotional, and social effects of childhood grief, and demonstrate the ways in which those reactions can manifest in the classroom. By recognizing individual differences in coping styles and considering variables such as developmental stage, nature of the loss, and availability of support, teachers and staff can become better equipped to respond to the bereaved child’s needs. The book incorporates theoretical explanations of grief responses as well as practical suggestions for supporting bereaved children in real-world settings.

Whether the loss affects one child or the entire student body, educators can turn to this comprehensive guidebook for ways to support grieving students in their classrooms.


"The Grieving Child in the Classroom is a crucial read in today’s world. Lawrence imparts her own comprehensive research as well as the research of many top experts in the field of childhood bereavement to make this book an essential text for teachers, counselors, and school administrators attentive to helping grieving students in their classrooms. This book is truly needed in a society where children are the forgotten grievers. Kudos to Lawrence for writing on this important topic."Dana Hahn, director of the Friendly Hearts Club Grief Support Program and founder/director of the Luke William Hahn Foundation

"I am grateful to this book’s respectful acknowledgement of children’s acute attunement to loss and to its recognition of developmental differences in children’s experiences and expressions of this grief. This is an invaluable resource for family members, educators, and mentors as they support grieving children with sensitivity and compassion."—Kristen English, PsyD, licensed psychologist and clinical director for the Traces of Love Association

"Sue Trace Lawrence compellingly captures the common challenges children face following loss. This book broadly examines bereavement and its legacy by effectively integrating neurological, cognitive, socioemotional, and psychological perspectives. She offers useful guidance about how educators can best respond in order to facilitate students’ recovery and help them thrive. This book is an extremely valuable resource for anyone who cares about children."—Catherine Chambliss, PhD, professor of psychology at Ursinus College and author of Empathy Rules

Table of Contents

Part I. 1. Neuronal Pathways in the Brain 2. The Role of Memory 3. Cognitive Development and Understanding Death 4. Children’s Psychological, Social, and Emotional Development 5. Attachments and Relationships 6. Loss as a Potential Trauma 7. Definitions of Grief Part II. 8. General Principles of Childhood Grief 9. Patterns of Grief Reactions 10. Emotions of Grief—Sadness 11. Emotions of Grief—Anger 12. Emotions of Grief—Fear 13. Emotions of Grief—Guilt 14. Learned Helplessness after a Loss 15. Effects in the Classroom 16. Diagnosable Issues Part III. 17. What to Say to a Grieving Child 18. What Not to Say to a Grieving Child 19. What to Do for the Grieving Child 20. Sublimation, Catharsis, and Finding Meaning 21. Starting a Grief Support Group 22. Founding a Nonprofit Organization 23. When Grief and Loss Hits the Community 24. When the Deceased is a Pet25. Grief during the Holidays 26. The Need for Grief Education, Planning, and Training 27. Resilience 28. A Few Final Thoughts

About the Author

Sue Trace Lawrence, MEd, MA, has worked extensively with children and currently teaches psychology while conducting research on childhood grief.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Counseling / Crisis Management
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Child & Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
PSYCHOLOGY / Grief & Loss