Tag: Death

Parenting @ Mornings with Karre-Anne

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed parenting in a single family and the issues around conceiving  a child of a dead parent with Channel 9, TV presenter Kerri-Anne from Mornings with Kerri-Anne

You can view the segment below:

or at Mornings with Karri-Anne website.

You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting  and young people by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.} else {

Grief and loss

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

When a child experiences the death of a loved one, be it a close relative, friend or even pet, it can often be difficult for adults to help the child deal with their loss and grief. While children may differ on their understanding of death, based on their age and other contrubiting factors, it is important for parents to remain open and honest with their child. Encourage your child to ask questions about the death that has occurred and try to answer them as honestly as possible. This will assist the grief and loss process.

Below you will find some helpful hints on how to help your child understand death in an age appropriate way:

Ages 2-5:

  • Younger children often view the world in very literal terms. This means that adults may have to explain death to the child in terms of a body that has stopped working. Children may also have trouble understanding that everyone eventually dies and that death is final. Therefore, this concept may have to be repeated multiple times. It is important to continually explain to the child in a calm manner that the person or pet cannot come back.
  • It is important to avoid euphemisms when explaining the concept of death to a child. As children think in a literal manner, such euphemisms may cause them to become fearful that when someone “goes to sleep” or “goes away” that they too will die.

Ages 6- 10:

  • Children at this age often start to understand that death is final. While they may not realize that every living thing dies, and may often personify the concept of death, they are best able to deal with death when they are given simple, clear and honest explanations about the death of a loved one.

Adolescents:

  • By the time children reach their teenage years they begin to understand that everything eventually dies, despite one’s greatest efforts. When dealing with the death of a loved one, teens may also begin to consider why people die, the meaning of life, and mortality.
  • It is important for adults to remain empathetic and encourage teens to both express and share their sadness and grief.

If you would like some assistance in helping your child deal with the grief, loss or death of a loved one, please contact our Reception on (02) 9362 9297 to arrange an appointment.

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Heavenly Creatures @ The Sunday Magazine

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley discussed how to help your children deal with the death of a pet with Vanessa Murray from The Sunday Telegraph’s Sunday Magazine. You can find out more information about grief and loss in children by visiting our resources page on grief and loss or discussing it on our forum.

The full interview is available on the Sunday Telegraph website.

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.

Curliest Questions @ Men’s Health Magazine

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

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.”

The answer
“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.”

The pay-off
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.

Useful book
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.} else {