The Sunday Post (Dundee)

Deal with bereavemen­t

- By Psychologi­st Prof Cary Cooper

decide what is taught Scotland’s schools.”

Anne-Marie O’Leary, editorin-chief of parenting website Netmums, said: “Talking about everything with children is a good idea and everyone is going to lose someone they care about at some point.

“But this should always be done in an age-appropriat­e way and should not be forced on anyone and we should be sure that the children involved understand what they are being taught and have the opportunit­y to ask questions.”

The research paper states: “Communitie­s must be equipped to deal with and support end-of-life and bereavemen­t experience­s.

“In the context of schools, this means that if

in a child, school staff member or someone important in a child or staff member’s life has an incurable illness or is experienci­ng bereavemen­t, the school communitie­s should be able to acknowledg­e and manage these experience­s appropriat­ely.

“Hospices can develop conversati­ons, education and support around death, dying and bereavemen­t in school communitie­s.”

Mark Hazelwood, chief executive of the Scottish Partnershi­p for Palliative Care, said: “Children of all ages are affected by death.

“This very valuable research identifies some practical and sensitive ways in which schools and hospices can work together to prepare and support children to deal with these difficult realities.” CHILDREN already experience death and dying in their lives whether it be a grandparen­t or a beloved family pet.

If they are not prepared at all it could come as a shock to them.

A skillful way of communicat­ing death and dying to them would be a good thing.

The difficulty is deciding at what age you should start to teach them about it and that kind of decision should be made by educationa­l psychologi­sts.

That way you can make sure children can comprehend what you are talking about.

Also, delivering it in the right way is critical.

When they are able to understand and comprehend what it is then death, like growing up and having an illness, becomes another part of life.

There are ways of communicat­ing it in a sensitive way.

For example children know that plants grow and die.

They may also have had pets that have died.

Children also play games and watch TV shows where people die.

I think this proposal sounds like a really sensible idea if it’s done the right way.

Death and dying is a part of life and children should understand it.

Covering it up and hiding it when death is a part of life would be the wrong approach.

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 ??  ?? Mark Hazelwood
Mark Hazelwood
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