The concept of death for children
The death of those around is unfortunate for everyone, but children can be seriously harmed by the death of loved ones. Children respond to it depending on their perception of the meaning of death. In this article, we will examine more about children’s perceptions of the concept of death.
The age of the child and how he or she perceives the environment around him or her is the most important factor in the child’s understanding of the concept of death and how it affects them.
Babies can feel the loss of loved ones, as the death of loved ones may affect their day-to-day care. Babies are also sensitive to the discomfort of their surroundings, and the discomfort of those around them makes them anxious and restless.
Two- to five-year-olds view death as a temporary and reversible process and expect the deceased to return to life after some time. This kind of perception usually comes from thinking about cartoon characters who die and revive easily.
Children from the age of five are able to understand some of the facts about death. These facts are: Death happens to all living things, there is a reason for death, death causes permanent separation, and the dead are unable to eat, drink, see, hear, speak or feel. The initial reaction of children to understand these facts is to feel sad.
Some children get angry and worried in addition to being sad. It is natural to feel anger when losing the important people in the lives of the children who they supported and cared for. Children may express concern in a variety of ways, such as making excuses, anxiety, craving, nightmares, or severe dependence. Children may think that they are the cause of what is happening around them or they may think that they have killed their loved ones with their mischief.
Children over the age of eight or nine and adolescents understand death almost like an adult and feel the emotions of others, but may not express their emotions because of difficulty speaking so as not to bother others.
Explaining the death of loved ones to children: To that end, the person closest to the child who trusts him or her (preferably the parent) should discuss the matter with the child. The type of expression should be as simple as possible and appropriate to the child’s age. If the child is too young to understand the true meaning of death, there is no need to understand it. On the other hand, hiding the issue of death from children is also not a right thing to do and they should be given as much information as possible. Some psychologists even believe that the child should mourn in his own way. For example, if you do not know how to take the child to a funeral, let him say goodbye to the deceased in some way, especially if they were close. Light a candle for the child and gently talk about the deceased person with the child. Let the child also review their memories and say goodbye to the deceased.
If the child has not been able to cope with the death of someone close to them after a short period (usually a few weeks), it is best to consult a child psychiatrist.