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Статья опубликована в рамках: Научного журнала «Студенческий» № 2(172)

Рубрика журнала: Психология

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Библиографическое описание:
Fot A. FORMATION OF CHILD PERCEPTION OF DEATH // Студенческий: электрон. научн. журн. 2022. № 2(172). URL: https://sibac.info/journal/student/172/238349 (дата обращения: 24.01.2022).


Fot Anastasia

Master student, Department of Philosophy and Psychology, KarU named after E.A. Buketov,

Kazakhstan, Karaganda


The specificity of the perception of death by children, their idea of death depending on age, the stages of the child's reaction to death are described. Child psychology tells us that preschoolers, by their age, are "supposed" to understand the meaning of death. Be sure to speak honestly with your child.


Keywords: children, psychology, death, grief, childhood.


The basis and fundamentality of the attitude towards death in adulthood is for the most part laid in childhood. What perception and behavior model in children will be formed regarding the phenomenon of death depends mainly on the parents and other family members who are nearby at that moment and pass on their experience to the child. Adults can verbally tell a child about death and explain how to behave in a given situation [1, s. 650]. But a much more significant component of the assimilation of such experiences is the personal experience of a parent or an older relative, because it is his model of behavior and perception of what has happened that the child will study in detail and take as an image and example for developing his own patterns of response to a situation of loss.

An adult can help a child set goals, make plans. The main goal of psychological work at this stage is to create in memory an image of the deceased, to find meaning for this image and a permanent place in the stream of life. As he grows up, the child can be given some things of his deceased loved one, which will be certain symbols, will fill his life and connect life events with the image of a loved one [2, s. 120]. With a favorable passage through the stages of grief, the bereaved child will be able to love those who live next to him, creating new meanings; and a certain idealization of the deceased parent will not interfere with the construction of new relationships.

Children have a different attitude towards death than adults. A small child still does not fully understand what "forever" means. He perceives death as separation from the person close to him, often from the dearest.

Each child perceives death in its own way. This is influenced by the experience of communicating with the dying, the age of the child, his emotional development and the attitude towards death of the people around him. Information about death comes to the child from many sources: cartoons, films, TV shows, video games and books. Not all adults simply perceive death as a natural part of life, and their fears and delusions about death are passed on to children [3, s. 350]. But if you take this process as something natural, then it is much easier to get rid of fears and confusion. Depending on age, children perceive death differently.

0 to 1 year old. At this age, the child does not have a formed perception of leaving for another world.

A terminally ill infant needs the same amount of help and care (physical and emotional) as a child of any other age. It is important for both the child and his family to follow the usual routine. At such an early age, children cannot express their feelings in words, and their need for something, like fear, is expressed only by crying.

1-3 years. For a child at this age, death does not yet matter much. Most of the anxiety is transmitted to him from the surrounding adults who experience strong negative emotions. When a parent is upset, depressed, scared, or angry, the child perceives these emotions and becomes upset or frightened as well. Such concepts as "death" or "forever" are still incomprehensible to a child.

3-5 years old. Preschool children are already beginning to understand that death frightens adults. A child can perceive death as something that can be reversed, like in a fairy tale. Children of this age are usually told that a deceased person goes to heaven, and it is difficult for a child to understand that this is forever, that everything that lives is born and dies, and the one who died will no longer eat, sleep or breathe.

If a child becomes seriously ill at this age, he may mistake the illness as a punishment for his actions and thoughts. It is difficult for him to understand why his parents could not protect him from the disease.

It is important for parents to remember that at every age the child reacts to death in a different way. A child of any age desperately needs support so that someone can listen to him and help him overcome his fear.

It seems to some, on the contrary, that everything is happening too frivolously. It is not worth demanding from the kid the "correct" processes that will be driven into the framework of your own ideas. Give the child as much time as he really needs [4, s. 3-10]. Sometimes children remember death all the time. Someone, on the contrary, takes a long time to bring their fears and experiences to a conscious level. Very often children talk and ask about death in scraps: he asked, received an answer, after five minutes they are already running around the house merrily. But after a week he comes up and again asks about the same thing.

In the absence of an emotional reaction on the part of the child to the loss, eating disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, exacerbation of chronic diseases, and behavioral regression can be observed. Most often, the experience of loss is reflected in the state of sleep. In a dream, a child can call the deceased, cry [5, s. 630]. Sleep can be restless and shallow. On awakening, the child often cannot remember the details of the dream. Possible nocturnal enuresis as a neurotic reaction to a traumatic event. Difficulties in the child's going to bed may be noted: he is afraid to fall asleep on his own, asks to leave the light in the room, asks to go to bed with adults, falls asleep for a long time and hard.

Psychological support for preschool children (3-7 years old) should be based on the following provisions. The initiative in discussing the topic of death should come from the child. One should not ignore the child's questions related to the topic of death, while one should try to adhere to a neutral emotional background [6, s. 108]. It must be remembered that "if a child is so developed that he can ask a question, then he is sufficiently developed to receive a direct answer to it." Talking about death is easier when children feel that adults really care about their feelings and thoughts, when a child's desire to communicate is encouraged by listening carefully to his position, respect for his views and sincere answers to his questions.



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