looby asks:

How to help my 13 year old niece deal with the death of her mother?


I hope someone could help us, My 13 yrs old niece mother pass away on 3 January 2010 with cancer. My niece at the moment staying with me and my family.
 We not sure what to do, because she was living about 40 miles away from us and we are worrying about her school etc. She refusing go back home, because there is only mum boyfriend and all mum staff ( I fully understand her, I don't like it go there at the moment), and she even refusing go to her dad's. There are very bad together (all the time argue) and her granddad from dad site (sexual abused her in past).

Please can anyone tell us if is anything we can do? We don't want she go live with her dad, but he got parents responsibility. It is there anything we can do to stop him to get her? We would love to keep her.

Many thanks for any responds.
In Topics: Children and stress, Communicating with my child (The tough talks), Blended families
> 60 days ago



Jan 13, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for your concern for your niece.  At all costs, she does not need to live with a grand dad who has abused her in the past.  I'm wondering about her aversion to going to her dad's house...it would be great if you could schedule time for her to talk with a counselor, family friend, or youth leader.

She is grieving and needs someone to talk to and share her feelings.  The person she talks to should also inquire about her dad, and what experiences she has had living with him.  

You may need to file for custody, if living with her father is not a safe or stable situation.  I don't know all the details, and living with her dad may be O.K.; he is her father and has ultimate responsibility for his daughter.

Was there a will?  Did her mother leave custody of her daughter to anyone?  Seek legal help to figure out what you can do.  In order for her to live with you, you will need to seek legal guidance.

Right now- it's great that you are providing a loving and safe place for her to live.  Find a professional to talk with her, and also let her know that you available to talk, cry or just sit with her- whenever she needs it.

Kindest Regards,

Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC
Founder of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
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Additional Answers (2)

dgraab , Parent writes:
Hello Looby,

I'm very sorry to hear of your family's situation. Thank you for turning to JustAsk for support during this difficult time.

Adding to the excellent guidance you received from Shirley Cress Dudley, here are some other informational resources you may also find helpful...

Child Grief and Bereavement

Communicating with Teens

Child Abuse Issues

These resources, though, are not a substitute for having your niece talk to a licensed health professional (such as a child psychologist, counselor or doctor) in person, to discuss and heal from her grief and previous abuse. Please do encourage and enable her to receive that level of support.
> 60 days ago

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fernz writes:
weLL , for me , i already encountered that situATion , and what i've just did was having bonding with my niece because i know she would really miss her mom, so for him to enjoy , we usually go to mall and have some fun . and the best thing is i let her feel that losing her mother wo'nt ruin her life because life is really an important which we borrowed from our savior jesus christ.Let her pray always and let her do things that can make her enjoy . and for his grandpa's issue, let him be prissoned .tell the police and let your niece tell everything about it .

good luck !
> 60 days ago

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