Cover image for How do we tell the children? : a step-by-step guide for helping children two to teen cope when someone dies
How do we tell the children? : a step-by-step guide for helping children two to teen cope when someone dies
Schaefer, Dan.
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Newmarket Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvii, 203 pages ; 21 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF723.D3 S33 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BF723.D3 S33 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Now in its third edition, this classic guide is expanded and updated to feature new material on dealing with trauma and devastation, addressing violence in schools, helping grandparents cope as caregivers, and an enlarged quick-reference "Crisis Section" with scripts, answers, and messages for young ones.

Author Notes

Dan Schaefer, Ph.D., has served as a guest faculty member at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the graduate schools at New York, Adelphi, Hofstra, and Rutgers universities. He has consulted with both military and police survivors. For more than thirty years he managed a family-owned funeral home that served families for four generations. "How do we tell the children?" was the question most often asked by grieving parents. His invaluable past experience and current work as President of Peak Performance Strategies have contributed to this practical and wise new edition. He lives in New York City
Christine Lyons is a journalist in New York City

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Books tend to generate multiple editions when they have something truly valuable to say. This title is no exception. Schaeffer, a psychologist and former funeral home director, and New York City-based journalist Lyons lucidly and straightforwardly explain how to inform children about the realities of death. They explain what most children can easily understand, what they might need help understanding, and the importance of being up-front. This third edition includes new information on dealing with traumatic death, and while that would seem like a timely addition, the section doesn't fit in too well with the rest of the child-directed content; it includes subsections such as "The Impact of Grief on Business and Management," so the book seems to shift its focus to adults. Still, this is recommended for public libraries because of the valuable basic information it contains. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Dan Schaefer, Ph.D.David Peretz, M.D.Pat Travis Rosenberg
Prefacep. xi
Forewordp. xiii
Introduction: The Solitary Mournerp. 1
1. What Children Think About Deathp. 11
Two to Six Yearsp. 16
Six to Nine Yearsp. 20
Nine to Twelve Yearsp. 21
Teenagersp. 24
2. Explaining Death to Childrenp. 26
Death of a Grandparentp. 27
Death of an Immediate Family Member (Mother, Father, Sibling)p. 41
Infant Deathp. 47
Death of a Friend or Classmatep. 55
Accidental Deathp. 58
Murderp. 59
Suicidep. 62
Aidsp. 70
How to Talk to Children About Someone Who is Dyingp. 79
How to Talk to a Mentally Retarded Childp. 91
Death of a Petp. 93
3. Grief and Healingp. 95
Common Reactions to Griefp. 98
The Special Needs of Childrenp. 103
The Grieving Processp. 106
Problems to be Prepared for at Various Agesp. 112
Dealing with Anger, Guilt, and Responsibilityp. 119
Helping Your Child to Healp. 124
4. Expectations for the Grieving Child and the Best Ways to Respondp. 131
Traumatic Stressp. 139
One Personal Experience of Trauma by Dr. Lisa Hudsonp. 144
Schools and Traumap. 155
5. The Funeral--Finding a Way to Say Good-byep. 158
Telling Children what to Expectp. 161
A Good-Bye Giftp. 165
Questions Your Child Might Askp. 167
"Life Goes On"p. 169
Crisis Checklistp. 171
Bibliography and Support Groupsp. 187
Indexp. 197
About the Authorsp. 203