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Children's questions about death

(3 Posts)
Gumdrop Fri 16-Jan-04 09:12:00

A colleague of mine has asked whether my children are obsessed with death. His ds has just started school, and unfortunately one of the pupils in an older class has died. This seems to have prompted a lot of concern about death in general, and especially about when his parents will die, and what will happen etc.

Apart from general reassurance, "most mummies and daddies don't die until they are very old", does anyone have any useful stategies please?

Ta

Marina Fri 16-Jan-04 09:22:13

Gumdrop, that's very sad. It's pretty normal for children of his age to think about death around now, anyway - developmentally they suddenly become aware that people, pets etc do die, and they understand for the first time that this is final. So it's unfortunate timing that he is aware of such a tragic death at this point.
In the circumstances, the school ought to be offering some help too - has the dad asked his son's reception teacher?
The general reassurance you have mentioned really does help children but he has to be prepared to repeat it ad nauseam. One ought also to be careful not to use euphemisms like "gone away" or "gone to sleep" as this can confuse young children.
For many children the first experience of death is the loss of a pet, and there are some nice storybooks about this which might help. One features Mog (by Judith Kerr).

Gumdrop Fri 16-Jan-04 12:13:13

Marina

Thanks for this,

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