Cover image for Never too young to know : death in children's lives
Never too young to know : death in children's lives
Silverman, Phyllis R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xv, 271 pages ; 25 cm
Historical and theoretical perspectives -- Bereavement: a time of changing relationships and transition -- Grieving and psychological development -- Children in the family context -- The death of a parent: dealing with bad news--my world is turned upside down -- Death of a parent: making an accommodation -- My child is dying -- After a child's death: nothing is the same -- When a sibling dies -- Invisible mourners: the death of a friend -- Help over time: meeting changing needs -- Finding help: services for the bereaved -- Teachable moments: promoting competence -- Appendix: Resources for the bereaved.
Subject Term:

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF723.D3 S58 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In spite of society's wish to protect and insulate children from death, the experience of loss is unavoidable and there is surprisingly litt le guidance on how to help children cope with grief and bereavement. N ever Too Young to Know: Death in Children's Lives is the first book to bring together diverse fields of study and offer a multifaceted theor etical approach to how children experience death. Using stories of chi ldren's own experiences supported by data from a large research study, Silverman explains the wide reange of effects of loss upon children, the challenges they face as they grieve, and ways of supporting them a s they change and grow in the bereavement process.

Author Notes

Phyllis Rolfe Silverman, Professor Emerita at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health; Associate in Social Welfare in the Department of Psychiatry; and Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Child Bereavement Study, Harvard Medical School.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In the present death-denying society, how children learn about death is important. The author of this well-written, captivating book examines children's grief and parents' efforts to help grieving children. The book highlights useful theory, research, and experiential information for mental health professionals and others who work with bereaved youth. Part 1 focuses on making meaning of death and grief; part 2 examines children's responses to the death of a parent, sibling, child, or friend; part 3 focuses on helping mourners, supportive services, and resources. The children's stories reveal their feelings, thoughts, and fears about death and what helped them cope. Children describe the impact of being told the truth in words they could understand as opposed to a fantasy (e.g., "Daddy died" versus "your daddy is away on a trip"). Children explain how attending funerals and mourning rituals and talking about the deceased helped them grieve and feel involved. Parents describe the challenge of trying to support their children while they struggle with their own numbness, fears, and grief. Silverman also explores stigmatized death such as suicide and AIDS. This book is a useful reference for all academic and public psychology collections and for those who work with children. S. M. Valente; University of Southern California

Table of Contents

Part I Making Meaning of Death & Grief
1 Historical and Theoretical Perspectives
2 Bereavement: A Time of Changing Relationships and Transition
3 Grieving and Psychological Development
4 Children in the Family Context
Concluding Thoughts to Part I
Part II Stories People Tell
5 The Death of a Parent: Dealing with Bad News, My World Is Turned Upside Down
6 The Death of a Parent: Making an Accommodation
7 My Child is Dying
8 After a Child's Death: Nothing is the Same
9 When a Sibling Dies
10 Invisible Mourners: The Death of a Friend
Part III On Helping
11 Help Over Time: Meeting Changing Needs
12 Finding Help: Services for the Bereaved
13 Teachable Moments: Promoting Competence
Appendix: Resources for the Bereaved