Children 's Cognitive Development And Understanding Of Death Essay

Children 's Cognitive Development And Understanding Of Death Essay

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Children and adults experience the death of a loved one or a death of any person differently. In Nancy Boyd Webb’s publication, Social Work Practice with Children, she describes children’s cognitive development and understanding of death. Since the client is an eight year old who has lost her mother to breast cancer, I will focus on her age to understand Piaget’s stage and her chronological age understanding of death.
For this eight year old girl, she is considered to be in Freud’s the latency-age. This stage is characterized by children ages seven to ten years of age, in which children subdue their sexual interest and develops social and intellectual skills (Santrock, 2009). In Piaget’s stage, the young has entered the concrete operational stage in which she can reasons logically about concrete events and classify objects into different sets. They deal with objects that are there in reality, but tend to lack abstract thoughts in this stage (Santrock, 2009). Incorporating both of these individual stages by Freud and Piaget helps with the understanding of how children comprehend death. Children age seven to ten years old tend to believe the death is final. Since both stages of child development is characterized by seeing and experiencing real-life objects and what is there physically, when a loved dies they perceive this as final (Webb, 2011). The person is no longer there making them believe that this process is irreversible (Webb, 2011). They also perceive death with older aged adults, and they have developed the idea of death happening to them (Webb, 2011).
With the understanding of Freud’s and Piaget’s theories of development, the child may present various grief responses. One grief response could be that the child cannot e...

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...aily lives by acting out what he has learned. The concept of role playing, mapping body feelings to see where is hurting or felling sad, or through playing with dolls or drawings between father and daughter can assist in this process (Webb, 2011).
One goal foe the daughter would be to manage healthy coping skills for this moment and throughout her life, especially through her teenage years. An objective that the young girl has is to continue to pursue her dreams and complete her daily hobbies and activities. One of the interventions would be related to one of the father’s intervention. She can have weekly moments of time where she and her father can express her feelings through the play tactics previously mentioned. Another intervention would be continuing to find joy in her daily activities and think of the ways in which her always supported her in her activities.

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