When a family member dies, children react differently from adults and usually see death as temporary and reversible, a belief reinforced by cartoon characters who die and come to life again.
The Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) provides suggested answers for helping your patients in coping with a grieving child’s questions about death in an open, honest way.
The American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry (AACAP) provides some quick links on child grief and counseling. When a family member dies, children react differently from adults and usually see death as temporary and reversible, a belief reinforced by cartoon characters who die and come to life again. Adding to a child's shock and confusion is the unavailability of other family members, who may be so shaken by grief that they are not able to cope with the normal responsibility of childcare.
Dr. Kenneth Doka of the HFA will discuss 10 new guidelines to help children deal with such grief after loss during HFA’s national teleconference on Wednesday, April 16 at 1:30PM(EST). The teleconference, Living With Grief®: Children and Adolescents, will be broadcast live via satellite and webcast to more than 1000 sites nationwide.
," says HFA president, David Abrams.
"The teleconference will focus on the most current theories and practices in this area, combining academic research with hands-on ideas
The teleconference will teach participants how to recognize situations that might engender grief in children and adolescents, identify the unique ways that grief is manifested in children and adolescents, and implement strategies to help grieving children and adolescents.
The teleconference's companion book,
, offers participants 20 chapters about the grieving process and therapeutic interventions.
Living With Grief®: Children and Adolescents
Guidelines to help
children and adolescents cope with their emerging awareness and understanding of death include:
Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, MDiv; Nancy Hogan, PhD, RN, FAAN; Rita Milburn-Dobson, MA, RNC, FT; Laura Olague, M.Ed., CT; Stacy Orloff, EdD; and J. William Worden, PhD, ABPP.
Moderated by CNN's Frank Sesno, teleconference panelists include
Parents should be aware of normal childhood responses to a death in the family, as well as signs when a child is having difficulty coping with grief. It is normal during the weeks following the death for some children to feel immediate grief or persist in the belief that the family member is still alive. However, long-term denial of the death or avoidance of grief can be emotionally unhealthy and can later lead to more severe problems. Once children accept the death, they are likely to display their feelings of sadness on and off over a long period of time, and often at unexpected moments.