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books or resources for kid worrying about death

(4 Posts)
siiiiiiiiigh Wed 12-Nov-14 23:33:04

My son's 9 and has been chronically ill with asthma. He's had 6 life threatening episodes in 12 months, it's all been a bit grim.

Appropriately, he's now got a sense of his own mortality. He has some low-grade anxiety which manifests itself as school refusal, being very clingy with me and bed wetting.

He's good at talking about his worries, and is able to rationalise that the fear's aren't real (though, you know, when he's a bit blue around the gills they probably are).

I'm not overly concerned, after all, he's had a rough time and has been very scared - it's not inappropriate that he understands that breathing's good.

I don't want to indulge him and make it worse, nor do I want to dismiss things and make them worse.

Anyone got any advice or suff they've found helpful when managing anxiety and chronically ill children?

His long term outlook is great, when he's well he's absolutely fine. In between though, poor kid has a rough ride of it.

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Wed 12-Nov-14 23:49:33

Poor little love, sorry to hear about your DS's health problems and the anxiety they have caused him. I hope you don't mind me hopping on here, I can't advise, but my 8 yo dd was crying at bedtime about the idea that she will die one day. I'm afraid I didn't do a brilliant job at reassuring her and hoped I might also benefit from some of the advice you receive.

siiiiiiiiigh Thu 13-Nov-14 14:03:25

It's rough, eh, Penelope?

Best thing I've come up with is the "red thread" legend - might be Chinese?

So, with apologies to the Chinese for my clumsy rendition - there is an invisible red thread that connects a baby to it's mother's heart. It can never be broken, no matter how far away you are from each other, or how old you are.

When he was unwell last year he "got" that Commander Hadfield was bobbing about in the ISS, but, the red thread between him and his mum was still there, still working, even though he was a grown-up and in space (DS is a bit of a science geek, so, the analogy worked for us)

So, we both wear a red bit of wool round our wrists. It helps him go to school, or when I'm away with work, seems to lessen his panic.

He isn't crippled by this, he's not in an acutely distressed state, but, death is a big thing for wee people. Big for any of us.

We had a chat too about what would happen if I died? Who'd go to the shop, do the cooking, take him to Cubs? So, he kind of worked out that it'd be sad, but, that life goes on and that I'm basically disposable. Which wasn't the conclusion I was hoping for, but, it'll do for now.

I don't have a terrific faith, despite many efforts, but, I did use the Bible's version of Heaven - that the streets are paved with gold, there's no death, disease or suffering and all the people love you are waiting there for you. "So, are there x-boxes?" "Do you think you'd need an x-box?" "yes" "then, I expect Heaven's got x-boxes, the Bible says it's got whatever you need" "cool".

Must go and google what other faiths have to say about The Afterlife.

Hope your daughter settles down, my understanding is that kids get a sense of their own mortality at about 7-10, so, she's bang on track. xx

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Thu 13-Nov-14 18:55:58

life goes on and that I'm basically disposable. Which wasn't the conclusion I was hoping for, but, it'll do for now. grin bless him!

Thanks for the thread thing. Not being religious it is difficult to find a comforting version of events (DP was convinced I'd have told her about the realities of decomposition etc! I may be straight talking but I'm not that bad!)

In the end DS2 aged 10 chipped in and said that he remembered being worried about it at her age too. He talked about DNA and how you live on in your own children, and I said that my parents live on in my heart and memories as well as in our DNA which they will pass on. Heaven is certainly an easier concept to talk about, so perhaps I should embrace a bit of that too, but I like the idea of shopping around for some other ideas too!

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