ERIC Number: ED305566
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-17
Reaching the Child's Perception of Death.
Giblin, Nan; Ryan, Frances
This paper asserts that the most common mistake that adults make when relating to children who are grieving is to assume that children think like adults. It presents an outline of children's perceptions of death for children between the ages of 1 and 3, and for 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 8-year-olds, and 10-year-olds. The outline and examples of children's perceptions of death at various ages are used to illustrate that children have a different approach to grieving than do adults. Several approaches are discussed which can help adults reach the child's perception of death and talk about death in a meaningful way. These include reaching preschool children in their perceptions through play therapy; anecdotal records including structuring, nurturing, challenging, and intruding functions; the Sentence Completion Test; and the Thematic Photograph Book; and for adolescents a model One Session Grief Counseling Group. The paper concludes with the hope that reaching the child's perception of death will lead to other creative strategies for assisting children who must deal with death. (NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Counseling and Development (Boston, MA, March 15-18, 1989).