In spite of society's wish to protect and insulate children from death, the experience of loss is unavoidable and there is surprisingly little guidance on how to help children cope with grief and bereavement.Never Too Young to Know: Death in Children's Lives is the first book to bring together diverse fields of study, offering a practical as well as multifaceted theoretical approach to how children cope with death. Using stories of children's own experiences supported by data from a large research study, Silverman explains the wide range of effects of loss upon children and the challenges they face as they grieve. Silverman presents grief as a normal part of the life cycle, which results not only in pain and sadness but also in change and growth. She further explains that children can and do cope effectively with loss and the changes it brings as long as they are taught to understand that death is a part of life and that they will be included appropriately in the family drama.
Never Too Young To Know: Death in Children's Lives is divided into three parts. The first section includes an overview and theoretical framework that examines the social, historical, developmental, and familial forces that frame and focus children's lives as they experience loss. The second section offers a detailed analysis of how children experience mourning different types of death including the death of siblings, parents, and friends, and death due to illness, suicide, accidents, and violence. The final section includes an accessible guide to helping children cope with grief, emphasizing the importance and the necessity of social support as children learn to adapt to their new lives.
Never Too Young To Know: Death in Children's Lives is not only ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students learning about children but it is also useful for courses on death and dying and the family. It is also an invaluable book for mental health practitioners, clergy, schoolteachers, nurses, pediatricians, as well as the general reader interested in learning how to deal with death in children's lives.
"This humane and perceptive book takes up a subject most people try to avoid: how to talk about death, especially with children. Drawing on a rich collection of life stories from parents and children, Phyllis Silverman uses a relational lens to explore the experience of death as human loss and a process of potential growth. Students and their teachers, as well as health care workers, counselors, and therapists will find this book an important reference for their own personal and professional development."-Nona Lyons, Dartmouth College "Phyllis Silverman has masterfully shared the real life stories of children and adults who have grieved. In the context of both the historical and research background she has created a communication that will be helpful for those who experience the death of another person on a personal level and for those who work with the bereaved. I highly recommend this book."-Dr. Ida M. Martinson, University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing "Weaving together scholarly research, relevant historical perspective, and the insights of the real experts bereaved children and parentsSilverman has written an incisive, thoughtful, compassionate work that challenges many long-standing and erroneous beliefs about how children grieve, and how they heal."-Donna L. Schuurman, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children, Portland Oregon