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Question
Posted by: Marlene | 2010/05/25

Child scared of me or her dying

My daughter has a fear of me or her dying. If we go somewhere for the weekend she is scared to sleep in her own room for she is scared she of I will die, so she sleeps with me. Please advise what I should do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

YOu don't mention her age, which is important in planning how to handle these situations. Keep calm, and in age-appropriate terms, explain to her that though everyone dies eventually, you don't plan to do so for an awfully long time, and she won't do so for even longer. Explain that we are all careful not to take unnecesary chances and to keep each other safe, and that you expect to be safe with her.
And keep this topic open for on-going conversation.
Considering what an awful idea it is, its surprising more kids aren't bothered about the thought of death, and that they go for so long without apparently seeing it as something that will apply to their parents, friends and themselves. After all, from an early age they see TV, even kiddy cartoons, in which mayhem and death is frequent. Long before puberty, the average kid who watches Tv and goes to movies, has witnessed thousands of deaths.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Marlene | 2010/05/25

She is 10 years old and thank you CS for the advise. I only worry that it might be an underlying problem, do you think I should take her to see someone or should I just follow your advise and keep an open heart about this and talk about it more?

Reply to Marlene
Posted by: Purple | 2010/05/25

Hi,
I went through this with my son too. CS gave me brilliant advice.
My son is six now and he still worries that I will die but we can talk about it better now as his verbal skills are so much better than when he was 4 and started voicing these worries. In addition to talking about it being possible but not that likely right now, we''ve also discussed what will happen to him if I die - that he will go and live with my sister and that all his toys will go with. He still cries a bit that he would miss me, but he doesn''t have the all consuming panic he used to get.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/25

YOu don't mention her age, which is important in planning how to handle these situations. Keep calm, and in age-appropriate terms, explain to her that though everyone dies eventually, you don't plan to do so for an awfully long time, and she won't do so for even longer. Explain that we are all careful not to take unnecesary chances and to keep each other safe, and that you expect to be safe with her.
And keep this topic open for on-going conversation.
Considering what an awful idea it is, its surprising more kids aren't bothered about the thought of death, and that they go for so long without apparently seeing it as something that will apply to their parents, friends and themselves. After all, from an early age they see TV, even kiddy cartoons, in which mayhem and death is frequent. Long before puberty, the average kid who watches Tv and goes to movies, has witnessed thousands of deaths.

Reply to cybershrink

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