5 Summer Tips for Grieving Kids

by Jocelyn Chamra-Barrera, LMSW

It’s officially summer here in the city! It is a time to enjoy yourself and your family. There are many things to enjoy in the summer: baseball, swimming, sleeping in, and live music! But if you’ve experienced the death of a loved one, everything you love about summer may be different. 

Sometimes grief is more intense in the summer – it’s hard to be sad when everyone else is having fun and being carefree. Here are some tips that may help someone who is impacted by grief in the summer: 

1. Try activities you used to enjoy and see if they are a good fit. If they’re not, that’s OK! If they are, continue to enjoy them!

2. Try an activity in a new way that honors or remembers the person that died. For example, if you lost your uncle who loved camping, plan a camping trip in his honor.

3. Go outside, take a walk, ride a bike, go for a swim. Sunshine helps us produce Vitamin D to help your body with its chemical balance. 

4. Find others who share your experience. Continue coming to Kids Who Care, go to a Bereavement Summer Camp (some local options include Camp Erin, Camp Red Bird, and Camp Agape) and churches that may offer grief support groups. 

5. Remember: it’s OK to have fun and enjoy life after a death. Talking to your children and family about summer break can help children address emotions they may not know how to express. 

Adapted from Agrace Educational Institute, “Seven Tips for Coping with Grief in Summer” June 13, 2018

About the Author

Jocelyn Chamra-Barrera, LMSW, is The Christi Center’s Bilingual Support Coordinator. She also coordinates The Christi Center’s Kids Who Care peer-support program for grieving children 5-12. A graduate of UT’s School of Social Work, she has been a social worker since 2014. Jocelyn also works with elementary aged children in AISD schools, and facilitates the  Spanish-speaking Adult Loss group that meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at the Austin location.

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