Our Weekly Tip: A Craft for a Grieving Child or Teen

Talking to a child about coping with death can be tough; here's a craft to make it easier
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Credit: Irene Suchoki

Our Tip of the Week:  Remember making “Chinese fortune tellers” as a kid? Those little origami squares that, once unfolded, were supposed to reveal everything from your innermost thoughts to your unfathomable “grown up job”? We used to call them “cootie catchers.” Each flap that you chose to unfold or “flip,” for whatever reason, led you to some degree of new “self-knowledge.”

Our grief craft with the fortune tellers relies on that same element of simplicity, but with a much more mature motive: helping children who are going through the stages of grief. For some adults, it may be difficult to talk about grieving with a bereaved child or teenager. Making a fortune teller with words or questions that start a dialogue about their feelings can help get the ball rolling on the conversation about death, dying and grief.

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Credit: The Bumbling Bee

How-to Suggestion: Firstly, you’ll have to re-master the skill of making the fortune teller (if our above guide isn’t clear enough, check out this Youtube video. Yes, it is made by a pre-teen). You’ll need scissors (if you don’t have origami paper), paper and a pen. Write anything from sentences like “I feel [sad, angry, upset, confused, etc] when/because…” or “What I’m feeling today…” to open up that mutual conversation.

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