Death. This may be a hard read for most of you. Such is the irony of living in this culture and these times. This is often a taboo subject when dealing with children, for reasons ranging from an exchange of fear: that kids may be afraid of many things associated with life; to extremes such as superstition or just plain nonchalance and a general belief that they will find out “in due time”.
Like most all of you, I have lost family members and friends. Some who have passed on naturally, and some who were just too young to go. As an adult, we are very conscious that this is indeed something dismal, sometimes even depressing. We seek consolation, we express ourselves through tears and conversation and sometimes decide to remain silent for a time. But consider this, if we, with knowing minds cope up with these occurrences, what about those that are not yet equipped with enough emotional control and have overly imaginative minds? This is where our role as parents comes in to play.
To most everyone, the termination of life is a negative force. I agree that most aspects of it do not make for a positive experience, but it in end, it does not have to be so bleak. After all, it is a part of existence, a cycle.
According to the late, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, grief comes in five stages: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining (in thought) 4. Depression 5. Acceptance
This is from a personal, human standpoint. But in a general overview of the world, evolution and society, death happens, and life begins anew. So after the final stage of acceptance, given that you adhere to Dr. Kubler-Ross’ philosophy: Death happens. Life goes on.
Age-Appropriate Ways to Introduce to Your Child the Concept of Death Since our children are much too young to deal with this at a philosophical level, there are ways to open their minds towards the cycle. No pressure needed, however; it is much better if discussed before a passing occurs, whether it be a relative or a pet.
Click here to read more about age-appropriate ways to introduce to your child the concept of death.