by Lisa Tome
Parents would rather talk about sex than death with their children.
That's according to Gabrielle Oldham, of Northern Chesapeake Hospice Foundation. Oldham works to coordinate various bereavement programs in the county.
November 20 is National Children's Grief Awareness Day. In recognition of the day, Northern Chesapeake Hospice Foundation is presenting two How Children Grieve workshops. Each workshop will focus on a different age group.
On Tuesday, November 18, at Calvert Elementary School, the focus of the workshop will be on young and elementary age children. The focus of the workshop will be how that age group responds to death. Common myths will be discussed.
On Tuesday, December 2 at Elkton Middle School, middle and high school aged students will be the focus.
The discussion will include how encounters with death can complicate adolescent development. Inappropriate grieving and how to address it will also be discussed.
Each of the workshops runs from 6-8 p.m. and is free and open to all. Bereavement counselors Angie Robertson and Lisa Clewer will lead the workshops. Parents, teachers, coaches, daycare providers, and clergy are being urged to attend. "Anyone who works with or spends time with children and adolescents can benefit from these workshops," said Oldham.
Registration is encouraged. Call 410-392-0254 or toll free 888-892-6685. Refreshments will be provided. PNC Bank is sponsoring these programs.
Oldham said she has worked hard to promote these programs.
Past workshops have received positive feedback. "Everybody that has attended said 'I'm so glad I was there'," said Oldham.
The children and grief workshops aren't the only ones planned that are geared to equipping parents with an expanded skill set.
Beginning Wednesday, November 12 and continuing weekly until December 10, from 6-8 p.m. each Wednesday, the Elkton unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cecil County will host Nurturing Parenting: Philosophy and Practices.
These free workshops, taught by Sherilyn Larkins of Cecil's Department of Social Services and Gail Johnson-Miller of Wellspring Life Counseling, will teach parents about raising heathy children. This will be held at the Boys & Girls Club's Elkton unit at 132 East High Street, Elkton. It's open to all parents.
"People are busier now. This will help us get them more involved with their children," said Kimberly Anders of the Boys & Girls Clubs.