How do youngsters react to loss of life?

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How do youngsters react to loss of life?

The range of reactions that kids display in response to the death of significant others may include:

  • Emotional shock and at times an apparent lack of feelings, which serve to help the child detach from the pain of the moment;
  • Regressive (immature) behaviors, such as needing to be rocked or held, difficulty separating from parents or significant others, needing to sleep in parent’s bed or an apparent difficulty completing tasks well within the child’s ability level;
  • Explosive emotions and acting out behavior that reflect the child’s internal feelings of anger, terror, frustration and helplessness. Acting out may reflect insecurity and a way to seek control over a situation for which they have little or no control;
  • Asking the same questions over and over, not because they do not understand the facts, but rather because the information is so hard to believe or accept. Repeated questions can help listeners determine if the child is responding to misinformation or the real trauma of the event.
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