The death of a celebrity is often a complicated emotional experience for many people. Though we didn't really "know" the person, many of us feel strong connections to our favorite stars. And for young people, these feelings of attachment may be even stronger.
Glee star Cory Monteith was found dead this weekend in a Vancouver hotel room. There are lots of rumors online about the cause of death (possibly drug-related) and many poeple are mourning him on Twitter. If you have kids—young children, tweens, or teens—who are Glee fans, there's a good chance they've already heard the news, and might be taking it hard. Here are three tips for how to help your kids deal with the death of a celebrity:
1. Acknowledge what your kids are feeling. Anger, sadness, confusion, fear, and frustration (among many others) are all natural emotional responses to a death. Even though you may not feel affected by the loss, acknowledge that your kid does. This will let your kid know that it's okay to feel these ways, and will create a space where your child will feel comfortable expressing his or her feelings.
2. Make sure they understand who died. Depending on how young your kids are, there may be some confusion over who died: Cory Monteith, the actor, or Finn Hudson, the character he played on Glee. You might explain to your kids that even though the actor is gone, they'll always be able to watch the character he played.
3. Participate in your kids' mourning. Some kids may want to watch a marathon of Glee episodes, others may want to comb the Internet for pictures of the actor, and others may want not to think about the loss at all. However your child is expressing his or her feelings, try to be there with your kid. You might not have the stamina for 3 hours of Glee reruns, but letting your child know that you're interested in participating in his or her experience can go a long way to making your kid feel safe and comfortable.