Helping siblings with griefHHelping siblings with griefHelping siblings with griefEnglishOtherPremature;Newborn (0-28 days);Baby (1-12 months)NANASupport, services and resourcesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-10-31T04:00:00ZChristine Newman, MD, FRCPCLori A. Ives-Baine, RN, BScN9.0000000000000056.00000000000001107.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Read about the way children understand death, which will depend on their age. Young children tend to personify death, viewing it as a monster, for example. </p><p>Children understand death differently, depending on their age. Early on, they may think it is not permanent. Only later will they understand it is more final. Young children tend to personify death, viewing it as a monster, for example. After about age 10, they start to understand death and realize they too can die. The following provides a basic understanding of children's concepts of death and dying.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Depending on their age, children have different understandings of death and will grieve and accept it in different ways.</li> <li>Help your children grieve by having open conversations with them, listening to them and getting help for them if they need it.</li></ul>
Aider les frères et sœurs en deuilAAider les frères et sœurs en deuilHelping siblings with griefFrenchOtherPremature;Newborn (0-28 days);Baby (1-12 months)NANASupport, services and resourcesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-10-31T04:00:00ZChristine Newman, MD, FRCPCLori A. Ives-Baine, RN, BScN9.0000000000000056.00000000000001107.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Renseignez-vous sur la façon dont les enfants comprennent la mort, ce qui dépendra de leur âge. Les jeunes enfants ont tendance à personnifier la mort, la voyant comme un monstre par exemple.</p><p>Les enfants comprennent la mort différemment, selon leur âge. En bas âge, ils peuvent penser que ce n’est pas permanent. C’est seulement plus tard qu’ils réaliseront que c’est plus définitif. Les jeunes enfants ont tendance à personnifier la mort, à la voir comme un monstre par exemple. Après l’âge de dix ans environ, ils commencent à comprendre la mort et à réaliser qu’ils peuvent aussi mourir. Les points suivants permettent une compréhension de base des concepts qu’ont les enfants de la mort et du fait de mourir.</p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>Les enfants comprennent la mort différemment selon leur âge. Ils vivront aussi le deuil et accepteront la mort de façon différente.</li> <li>Aidez vos enfants à vivre leur deuil en ayant des discussions franches, en les écoutant et en cherchant l’aide dont ils pourraient avoir besoin.</li></ul>

 

 

Helping siblings with grief1859.00000000000Helping siblings with griefHelping siblings with griefHEnglishOtherPremature;Newborn (0-28 days);Baby (1-12 months)NANASupport, services and resourcesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-10-31T04:00:00ZChristine Newman, MD, FRCPCLori A. Ives-Baine, RN, BScN9.0000000000000056.00000000000001107.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Read about the way children understand death, which will depend on their age. Young children tend to personify death, viewing it as a monster, for example. </p><p>Children understand death differently, depending on their age. Early on, they may think it is not permanent. Only later will they understand it is more final. Young children tend to personify death, viewing it as a monster, for example. After about age 10, they start to understand death and realize they too can die. The following provides a basic understanding of children's concepts of death and dying.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Depending on their age, children have different understandings of death and will grieve and accept it in different ways.</li> <li>Help your children grieve by having open conversations with them, listening to them and getting help for them if they need it.</li></ul><figure> <img alt="brother kissing sleeping baby" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/LIB_bereavementpic_10_EN.jpg" /> </figure> <h2>Baby</h2><p>Death has the least significance to babies. Their reaction to death is related to the absence of familiar persons or attachment to a consistent caregiver and is demonstrated by stranger anxiety. The baby becomes increasingly aware of the absence of people or objects, and reacts to the separation or loss.</p><h2>Toddler</h2><p>Egocentricity (self-centredness) and not yet being able to separate fact and fantasy make it impossible for toddlers to understand death. They may repeat what sounds like a correct definition of death such as, “Grandpa is dead. He went to heaven.” However, they may later talk about going fishing with him. Toddlers can think about events only in terms of their frame of reference, which is living.</p><h2>Early childhood</h2><p>In early childhood, children have usually heard the word <em>death</em> and have some sense of its meaning as a departure or a kind of sleep. They may recognize the fact of physical death but they don’t separate it from living activities. They think that the dead person in the coffin still eats, sleeps, and breathes.</p><p>For these children, life and death are interchangeable. There is no real understanding of universality and irreversibility. Egocentricity and magical thinking may cause them to believe their thoughts are sufficient to cause events.</p><h2>School age</h2><p>School-aged children may attempt to personify death as a ghost, bogeyman, or devil. They may still associate bad thoughts and deeds with the cause of death. Therefore, they feel intense responsibility and guilt. However, they have more developed cognitive abilities and may respond well to logical explanations.</p><p>By nine or 10 years of age, most children have an adult concept of death as inevitable, universal, and irreversible. Their attitudes towards death are influenced by the reactions of others. Some researchers have found that children with a religious orientation that stresses a relationship with a greater being and reunion after death have less anxiety and fear than those who equate death with sin, punishment, and hell.</p><h2>Later school age and adolescence</h2><p>Older children and teenagers have the most difficulty coping with death. They are least likely to accept the cessation of life.</p><h2>How do children react to a sibling's death?</h2><p>The death of a sibling often leaves remaining siblings feeling guilty. They may assume that they did something to cause the death. It's important to simply explain the details of the death and reassure them they had nothing to do with it. Children may also be angry at their sibling for leaving, or angry at the doctors for not being able to save the sibling. Younger children may be very irritable, have nightmares, play very vigorously, or do things that are self destructive. Older children may deny their pain, withdraw, or act in self destructive ways. All of these responses are normal.</p><p>Through all this, continually tell your surviving children that they are loved, that it's okay to feel the way they do, and that the intensity of their feelings will ease a bit over time. Resist the urge to chastise children for their feelings; instead, allow them to react naturally.</p><h2>How do you help your other children grieve?</h2><p>Have frank discussions about their sibling's death and let them talk about their feelings. Answer their questions honestly, in order to help them make sense of a very troubling and painful experience. Give them information that is age-appropriate and specific.</p><p>Talk about the baby who died and share memories. Try to avoid idealizing the baby who died and making them larger than life or comparing surviving children to them. By the same token, resist the urge to overprotect your surviving children. Involve your children in decision making following their sibling's death, such as funeral planning, even if they are very young. Find out whether having a special keepsake from their sibling would be comforting.</p><p>Make sure that your children are eating and sleeping a reasonable amount, doing okay at school, and keeping up with friends. Withdrawal and excessive crying are a concern, as is a complete lack of response or emotion. If a surviving child won't talk about the baby who died, try drawing them out; for example, try saying: "We haven't talk about [name] for awhile. What are you thinking?"</p><p>Surviving children may need someone other than a parent to talk to. If your child gets along well with their grandmother or a close family friend, for example, they might be in a position to offer comfort and also be on the lookout for serious adjustment problems.</p><h2>How can you help your other children return to school?</h2><p>Returning to school after the death of a sibling can be a very difficult adjustment. Children worry that they will be upset in front of others or that their school mates will treat them differently.</p><p>As a parent, you can help ease the process by going to the school ahead of your child’s return and talking to your child’s teachers and classmates. Ask your child’s teachers to provide extra support when your child returns, either in the form of academic support or in terms of time alone as needed or time away from class. See if a counsellor can be available if your child needs someone to talk to.</p><p>Ask that the school arrange to have someone prepare your child’s classmates for your child’s return to school. This can help prevent your child from having to answer questions from curious classmates. This will also give them time to think about doing something to make your child feel welcome, for example, with handcrafted cards or pictures. Recognize that there will be some questions from classmates, and it would helpful to prepare your child to answer them ahead of time.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/LIB_bereavementpic_10_EN.jpgHelping siblings with grief

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