Discussing Death with Children
Discussing Death with Children is an article that was published in a Clinical Psychology Journal and is written by Gerry Koocher. According to the article, by the age of five years, almost every child has heard or come across the phenomenon of death. The death does not have to be necessarily that of a human being, but can be of a favorite pet, or any animal on the street. In such cases, the child is curious and thus carries the curiosity to the school setting and at home.
As a result, it is the responsibility of the school teacher and the parent to be prepared to answer the questions that will be asked. According to the article, the questions regarding death by the children in most times are unanswered or, If answered then only to a certain degree (Gerry, 2004). The conspiracies of silence that exist in adults on the issue of discussing death with their children are due to three major factors. First, there exists the personal emotional concern within the adult that makes him or her not like to talk about death or death related issues. Second, the adult might lack certainty on how to answer the questions presented by the children and finally, a situation that comprises of the above situation when combined. A death instance on an adult may force an adult who is anxious into the situation of explaining what has caused to a child that is frightened (Gerry, 2004).
This article has some suggestions on school teachers, caretakers and parents on how to go about answering the death related questions. The first factor is listening keenly to the questions. This is vital due to the fact that when a child asks a question the adults may “read” much more than is being asked. The second important factor is the developmental trend. Different answers are given to children on the issue of death depending on their age. The third factor the teacher who considers talking about death in a classroom setting as it provides a supportive environment.
This article’s main message is that talking about death to children and answering their questions about death is more essential and potentially helpful than not talking about it (Gerry, 2004).