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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 2, No. 3 -- Supplement, May 1999
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture

The topic of this supplement:  Communicating with Troubled Kids, Dealing with grief after tragedy.

Tragedies made me think about what I could offer to other parents and those who wanted to help children who were dealing with tragedy.. I've a child in school and I've buried three children. I've known a lot of violent children. I sent this as an interim update to my e-mail newsletter mailing list with my personal thoughts about resources that I think can help. I've thought a lot on the topic and a recent post script to an e-mail to a correspondent has evolved into this note.

To help troubled kids, you need to communicate with them. Dr. Suzette Elgin's book The Gentle Art of Communicating with Kids (John Wiley & Sons) is the best tool I know of for helping people communicate with their children.  It is available at,, etc.  You can buy it direct from John Wiley at about $6.00 or so a copy. I've given away over a hundred copies of the book and never had anyone who did not gain from reading it.  For shelters, parents and kids, it is a great book.

For teaching kids non-violence: How to Turn the Other Cheek and Still Survive in Today's World (available directly from Dr. Elgin) is one of the two best books I can think of.  Written for parents and older teens, the book captures how to be non-violent and how to reduce violence in day to day life.  The other good book is The School Mediator's Training Manual (New Society Publishers/Friends Conflict Resolution Programs).  (The only place I know of to get that is by calling 215-241-7229).

Dr. Elgin has had significant experience with children and is a wonderful woman (though the most common thing people say to her is "I've read your book, but I thought you were dead" -- she isn't). Her e-mail is

We've both buried children and she understands some things that a lot of people are completely clueless about. If you want to teach a client how to begin to make peace in their own lives, I've found her books the best place to start.

For grief, I have many good links and materials  that I am familiar with. The best site I've seen that would help most people with the death of a child is at The graphics are really not my style (and I hate animated gifs), but the content is rock solid. If you know anyone who has lost a child, this is an excellent place to go. Grief is very hard work, but some places make it a little easier and can help those around avoid making things worse instead of better. For my personal perspective on grief, has my thoughts.

If you've ever wondered what to say (and what not to say), MISS is the site to visit.


Stephen R. Marsh
ADR Resources
Surviving Loss


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