How Children Deal with Death

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How Children Deal with Death Death is hard to deal with for everyone, but for children especially; they view death in various ways at different ages. At these ages children need help and guidance from their parents. The first step is to help them feel a part of the whole experience, doing this will allow them to deal with the death. The rest is counciling and (quick step number two;) the parent’s main part should be to listen while the child talks, doing this is very helpful for understanding the child. This is also very benneficial because it gives the child a chance to get his/her feelings off, this relieves certain tensions. So in order to help children get through the grieving process age and maturity level of the child must be concidered, and council should be centered around the limitations of those statistics. Infants are one group, with no real understanding of death but they can react to the way their parent/s react/s to loss. When the physical love that a parent can provide is suddenly missing, the child does have fears of separation. Infants are also very tuned in to their parents’ feelings of stress and sadness. In relation to these feelings there might be noted physical expressions such as: crying, crankiness, rashes and clinging. How one can handle this is to talk with others about one’s concerns with family members, or even the funeral director; he/she has a good chance of knowing what to do. Seek support and help from family and friends. Parent/s should try spending more time each day with the child to ensure a secure feeling for the child. (Wolfelt) I have learned on the Discovery channel that children who are physically touched develop better and more fully, so loving them patting them and holding them often does worlds of help. (experiment covered by the Discovery channel) For children ages two and a half to five; this is the stage at which the child is likely to confuse death as a reversible event like sleeping. Or the death of someone close to them could be viewed as punishment for something they have done; make sure they know this is not so. Children of this age are egocentric and believe everything that happens to be caused by them or that they will “catch” death and die as well. A child might also believe death to always be result of violence, this belief might have come from what they see on TV. Behaviors to look for are: the child showing little concern for favorite TV shows, going

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