How does someone help a child balance grief and academics?

 
Some children continue to have academic difficulties that can last for months or can last for two or more years.  Grief and trauma can be a detriment to learning for children and adults.  When someone dies, several changes take place that affects memory, concentration and learning.
After the death of a loved one, the area in the brain which processes information can be overloaded with thoughts of the deceased.  There is little room left for concentrating on academics, so school can become overwhelming to a child. On the other hand, some children continue to perform well in school following the death of a significant loved one. They may use schoolwork or sports to maintain steadiness when dealing with painful feelings and thoughts.  Children, like adults with work, find the distraction to be healing and helpful.
HELPFUL THINGS TO REMEMBER:    

✓ Be patient and be accepting of a variety of reactions to loss

✓ Try to maintain normal routines

✓ Communicate with the school and develop a plan ✓ Avoid telling the child to “move on” or “get over it”

✓ Support your child regardless of academic performance

✓ Sports can help with grief.  Make exceptions for sports participation