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Temperament Corner September/October

Updated: Nov 13, 2023




THE IMPORTANCE OF HELPING PARENTS BECOME AWARE OF THE NEED FOR THEIR SUPINE YOUTH TO GO THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS OVER THE LOSS OF A SURFACE AND/OR DEEP RELATIONSHIP.


Proverbs 22:6 tells us to: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

This includes teaching them about death and dying.


All over the world, our youth, as well as adults, are being deeply affected by disasters such as floods, hurricanes, forest fires and the deaths that have occurred such as a loss of parents, grandparents and friends.


Sometimes parents can become so engulfed in their own grief over the death of a spouse, parent or friend that they do not realize their children are also grieving.


Now, more than ever, we as Christian counselors, need to help the parents to become aware of the fact that when there is a death in the family or of a close friend, their youth will also be grieving.


The parents must also understand that if they have several youths, that each youth will handle their grief in different ways as each youth will usually have a different temperament.


Webster II defines grief as “Deep sadness as that caused by bereavement.”



The Five Steps to Grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.


If the Supine youth does not receive help to understand and move through the grieving process, they may become stuck in the anger stage. This anger can be directed towards God, their parents and/or others.


We are going to review the Inclusion, Control and Affection areas of the Supine youth.




SUPINE YOUTH IN INCLUSION


REVIEWING GODLY WAYS PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR SUPINE YOUTH IN INCLUSION WORK THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS.


Brief description of some of the tendencies of the Supine Youth in Inclusion:


Task oriented/relationship oriented, have indirect behaviors, expect others to read their mind, have a high fear of rejection, internalize anger and view it as hurt feelings, have a gentle spirit and a servant’s heart, and like to serve others.


Regarding the death of a surface or deep relationship, the Supine youth may tend to not open up regarding this death until somebody asks them about their loss, as they are responders, not initiators.


Since they are not initiators, they may hold their grief inside for a long period of time.


Since the Supine youth does not like to lose a relationship, they may also tend to feel anger towards the deceased because they do not like losing their friends.


Since they are not initiators, they tend to feel very uncomfortable going to the funeral home or memorial services alone, but will attend if someone invites them. They also tend to be willing to do tasks for the family—if asked.



HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THE SUPINE YOUTH IN INCLUSION MOVE THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?


  1. They need to be aware that they themselves are grieving and that their youth will also be grieving

  2. They then should share with their youth that they are grieving too and that it is okay to grieve. Grieving is a normal emotion, and it is not a sign of weakness.

  3. They can help the Supine youth in Inclusion by being there for them and asking them to express how they feel. This is because the youth tends to need to have someone to talk with in order for them to let go of their grief and anger.

  4. The Supine youth tends to need a friend to be there for them. A friend that will listen and sympathize with them.

  5. The parents can also make an appointment with one of our temperament counselors for their youth. The temperament counselor will then generate an APS report on the youth and counsel them according to their temperament.


SUPINE YOUTH IN CONTROL


REVIEWING GODLY WAYS PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR SUPINE YOUTH IN CONTROL WORK THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS.


Brief description of some of the tendencies of the Supine youth in Control:


Enforcer of the rules, need confirmation of decisions they must make, fearful, anxious, manipulative, expect others to read their mind and know that they are grieving, faithful and loyal, need others to be responsible, withdrawn—at times, feel powerless and at the mercy of others.


Regarding the death of a relationship in the Control area, the Supine youth may tend to pull away and pout because the deceased left them. In other words, they internalize their anger and mask it as “hurt feelings.”


After others encourage them to go to the funeral home or memorial services they can then interact with others that are grieving. When they are with others, they will not feel so alone in their grief.


Since the Supine youth does not want to be in control, they may also tend to feel anger towards the deceased because they needed them to confirm their decisions and now they must find someone else to help them make their decisions.



HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THE SUPINE YOUTH IN CONTROL MOVE THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?



  1. They first need to be aware that even though they themselves are grieving, their youth will also be grieving.

  2. They can share with the youth that they, the parents, are also grieving and that it is okay for them to grieve because grieving is not a sign of weakness, it is a normal emotion.

  3. They need to be aware of the depth of the Supine’s grief and that they “masked” this grief as “hurt feelings.” They can do this by initiating a conversation with them and encourage them to open up and share their thoughts.

  4. They need to also understand that this Supine youth tends to need others to initiate so that they can respond. Once the youth knows that others care and will listen, they will open up and talk about their fears and anger.

  5. They can also make an appointment with one of our temperament counselors for their youth. The temperament counselor will then generate an APS report on the youth and counsel them according to their temperament.



SUPINE YOUTH IN AFFECTION



REVIEWING GODLY WAYS PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR SUPINE YOUTH IN AFFECTION WORK THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS.


Brief description of some of the tendencies of the Supine Youth In Affection:


Need deep emotional contact, skin hungry (they need to touch people in order to feel connected), most loveable of the temperaments, express love and affection continuously, compassionate, emotionally unstable, and easily devastated if not reassured that they are loved.


Regarding the death of a relationship in the deep Affection area, the Supine youth may tend to be withdrawn with feelings of rejection, and do not express their emotions.


After they feel accepted, and tend to feel more comfortable they are more able to express their feelings to the deceased’s family with hugs and touching as well as serving them.


Since the Supine tends to feel rejected, they may also tend to feel anger towards the deceased because they did not want them to leave (die).



HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THE SUPINE YOUTH IN AFFECTION MOVE THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS?


  1. They first need to be aware that even though they themselves are grieving, their youth will also be grieving.

  2. They can share with the Supine youth in Affection that they, the parents, are also grieving and that it is okay to grieve and that grieving is not a sign of weakness; it is a normal emotion.

  3. The parents can also help the Supine youth in Affection by being there for them as they tend to need to have someone to talk with in order for them to process their thoughts, deal with their loss and then to admit that they are angry. This is because when a deep relationship dies, it is a great loss to them.

  4. The Supine youth tends to need “a shoulder to cry on” to bounce off their thoughts and have a good cry; they tend to want them to give them attention and to listen. Having a person that will listen and give them affection will help them deal with their loss.

  5. They can also make an appointment with one of our temperament counselors for their youth. The temperament counselor will then generate an APS report on the youth and counsel them according to their temperament.


CONCLUSION



It is so important that the parents become aware of the fact that their Supine youth in Inclusion, Control and/or Affection will need to go through the grieving process when they lose a close friend or relative. If they are not helped through the grieving process they may get stuck in the anger stage of grief as they tend to call their anger “hurt feelings.”


It is important that they come to recognize their “hurt feelings” as anger. This is because they tend to keep this anger bottled up inside. They may carry this anger throughout their life and blame God for taking their friend or loved one.



SCRIPTURES FOR THE SUPINE YOUTH IN INCLUSION, CONTROL, AND AFFECTION


I Peter 5:7: “Casting all your cares upon him; for he careth for you.”


Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”


Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengetheneth me.”


Psalm 18:2: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation and my high tower.” “



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Very instructive! Thank you. Another excellent resource is "When Children Grieve" by John James, Russell Friedman and Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews. It helps adults acquire skills and appropriate language to help children communicate their emotions.

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