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Overcoming The Children's Mourning State Through Psychological Intervention

Oprea-Valentin Busu and Antonia Ioana Luchici
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Oprea-Valentin Busu: University of Craiova, Romania
Antonia Ioana Luchici: University of Bucharest, Romania

Social Sciences and Education Research Review, 2016, vol. 3, issue 2, pages 36-47

Abstract: Death and mourning that follows it are experiences that occurs in everyone`s life at one time. There are unavoidable, painful, sad experiences even for adults who are able to manage their own emotions, and evenmore for children who, at least in early childhood and elementary school aren't able to understand on their own what it's happening in that moment, and how to manage their sadness and live the mourning period properly. Due to the fact that children are not yet fully developed cognitively, cannot understand on their own the concept of death. At that age, death seems for them not to be permanent. Children believe that death is a reversible process that the person in their family is temporarily left and they will return at any moment, and they will wait and ask for that moment long after the actual death, if lacked of any other information. Moreover, children think that death is avoidable, since - at that age, self-centeredness is somehow a characteristic of their personality and death hasn't affected their own person; therefore, when death occurs in their family, their reality will be brutally shaken and they will be very disoriented. Also, in early childhood, kids have a symbolic, magical perspective about death; they imagine it as a devil, a monster or a black lady with a scythe and many other images, far from a realistic perspective. Considering this aspects, it is very important that a realistic, honest, adapted to their age perspective of death when it affects their family. Unfortunately, in many cultures, death is still a taboo. It still exists the belief of overprotecting children from suffering by hiding the death of a close family member, lying them and taking them far away so that they cannot see the dead person. But actually, by practicing this, parents, teachers and persons around the children only make him be more disoriented and suffer more by not knowing what happened with the person they love. As a parent or teacher, it is very important to understand that staying beside the children and sustaining him emotionally, without hiding him any aspect about death of the loved one has a crucial importance for their future development; otherwise, it is probable that they will develop symptoms of chronic depression, and as adults, problems of attachment and extreme fear of death. Proper education for population regarding this delicate subject is a sign of a developed society. In the light of this perspectives, specialists and psychotherapists should be prepared to offer advice and support in any moment so that parents will be learn how to stand by their children in the hard and long process of managing their negative emotions, living their mourning together.

Keywords: death; mourning; sadness; emotional management; psychotherapy; psychological intervention (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 H10 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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