Kimberley was commissioned by Men’s Health Magazine to write about the curliest questions kids ask. The question for this segment as ” Why everybody die?” You can find out more about answering your children’s questions about death and dying by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum.
The full article is available here. or below:
Why everyone dye?
Why they’re asking
“It’s a developmental milestone,” says Kimberley O’Brien, lead child psychologist at Sydney’s Quirky Kid psychology clinic. “It marks a child’s ability to see life as a series of beginnings and endings. From about the age of three or four, they start to understand that things aren’t forever. They start to mature to a point where they don’t feel that they are invincible. That goes for you as a parent, too. Also, by now they may have experienced a death – a pet or a grandparent.”
“It’s always good to have them reading stories that cover the process of dying and death – even before they can understand the concept fully,” says O’Brien. “Some people will explain the process in religious terms – Fido’s gone to heaven, for example – but in general, don’t use explanations like that if you don’t subscribe to those beliefs yourself. You’ll only have to backtrack later on.”
Get this one right and your kid will be better able to cope with loss when it arises, empathise with others affected by death and dying, and be equipped to deal with the resurgence of thoughts about mortality that often strike in the teenage years.
Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between.
Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen (illus.); Paper Tiger, 1983.
If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.
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