• Helping Our Teenager Deal With Loss | Mark Hundley | Episode 15

  • How do our teenagers deal with loss? Your teen’s life is full of disappointment; losing a friend, getting a bad grade, not making the team, missing the shot, losing a job, having privileges taken away, losing an opportunity, and so much more. Parents may dismiss these as NO BIG DEAL but oftentimes kids don’t know how to handle loss and the grief that comes with it. Helping our teenager deal with loss is an essential parenting skill. We need to help them learn to be resilient, make sense of it, work it into the fabric of their life, and move forward. Not being able to handle or deal with loss may lead our teen to using unhealthy coping strategies and even dysfunctional behavior. Grief expert Mark Hundley shares expert advice for teaching our children how to identify their strengths and move through loss in a healthy way. Listen in as he shares his wisdom with Mighty Parenting podcast hosts Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler.

    Tis the season for our kids to celebrate. Prom and graduation season is an exciting time but even the most responsible teens can find themselves in a sticky situation. Listen to the Real Talk segment to discover the conversation every parent must have with their teen and tips for keeping them safe.


    A Favorite Quote About Helping Our Teenager Deal with Loss:

    If your teenager shows resistance it’s a red flag for parents to ask: 1) How are you feeling? 2) What caused that to happen?

    High Points On How To Deal With Loss:

    Parents often make the mistake of missing the purpose behind a behavior.

    Our society says when something is not the way we want it to be we need to focus on it, label it, medicate, and get rid of it. The real solution lies in getting to the root of the behavior.

    If your teen is exhibiting an undesirable behavior, ask these questions:

    • How are you feeling?
    • What happened to make you feel that way?
    • What’s the purpose of (name the behavior)?
    • How has that helped you get through?
    • What might we do differently now?

    When our teen is exhibiting inappropriate behavior and they find it doesn’t work it brings them to the point of crisis.

    When kids experience loss it causes emotional pain and when their coping strategies stop working they look for any means to escape the pain.

    When our teens are struggling with loss we can help them find a healthy way to cope. Use these questions to start the conversation:

    • When have you been a situation like this before?
    • What did you do to get through? What strength do you have that you used to pull yourself through and get to a positive place? (This focuses their attention on what they did – not someone else – to pull them through.)
    • How’s that working for you now?
    • What other kinds of things have you thought about?
    • If they say it’s not working for them try this: So let me take a guess. Since this has always worked in the past for you, and suddenly it’s stopped working, you decided that if you just do a little more of that thing that’s always worked it’ll eventually start to work again.

    Help me understand your world. I can’t live in it I can’t feel it. I can’t see it. Help me understand it.
    What is it that caused you to choose this path and how has it helped you to get through?

    Help me understand your world. I can’t live in it I can’t feel it. I can’t see it. Help me understand it.
    What is it that caused you to choose this path and how has it helped you to get through?

    Loss is the absence of, the deprivation of, or the removal of, any person, place, or thing that is part of your routine.

    If you do nothing else for your child do this: Make a list of their strengths, things they do well, things you appreciate them doing, and tell them one thing each day.

    Guest bio:

    Mark Hundley, LPC – Supervisor, has worked with people of all ages since 1971 in various venues:

    • Youth and family ministry
    • Public education
    • Private counseling practice.

    He earned his B.A. in Sociology from Hardin-Simmons University and his Master’s in Counseling from the University of North Texas.

    Mark has an expertise in the field of loss and grief and works with individuals, families and corporate bodies to create and implement strategies for powerful living in the aftermath of tragedy, trauma and loss.

    He is a founder of the Journey of Hope Grief Support Center in Plano, TX, a non-profit agency that provides free group grief support to children, adolescents and their parents or adult caregivers.

    Currently, Mark serves on the counseling staff at Plano Senior High School, works with clients in private practice and provides supervision for LPC Interns.

    To learn more or connect with our guest, visit markhundley32@gmail.com

    Get a copy of Mark’s Book Awaken to Good Mourning: