Summary and Info
In this second edition, Susan Smith raises awareness of the sensitive issues involved in relating to and assisting bereaved children. It contains additional information on secondary losses involved in bereavement and the effects of traumatic bereavement, not covered in the first edition. Smith begins by outlining how children grieve in the same way adults grieve - with the same range of emotions from feelings of shock and disbelief to numbness, despair, anger and guilt. Because children find it difficult to identify their emotions verbally, their reactions are often expressed through their behaviour. She lists common behaviours in bullet form, including health and school behaviours. These are followed by a description of feelings typical of children experiencing grief: guilt, anger, confusion, fear, anxiety, helplessness and relief. Based on developmental theories, Smith outlines typical reactions of children in age groups 0-2 years, 2-5 years, 5-9 years and 9-12 years as well as the reactions of adolescents. Smith recommends giving children the opportunity to talk about the event as soon as possible to reduce the potential of emotional blocking. Because experienceing a parental murder is exceptionally difficult, a special section is devoted to this. The chapters following are devoted to explaining what adults do to support and asssist grieving children. The book concludes with an outline of the types of serrvices that exist for helping children cope with grief, including family work, group and individual work.
More About the Author
Harry Collins (born 13 June 1943), is a British sociologist of science at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales.
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