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A catastrophe can happen anywhere, at any time. When unexpected events occur, some children may have been exposed to extremely dangerous situations. They may have to overcome significant losses, have experienced a scene of violence or natural disasters.
We explain how you can approach the subject of a tragedy with children from 9 years.
Children at this age (9-12 years) are young children and almost adolescents, which can vary throughout the day, which makes it very difficult for us to focus properly on the developmental characteristics of these children. These are its main characteristics:
- At this age we can already explain things to them as if we were talking to an adult. There will no longer be misinterpretations or distortion with fantasies.
- They live in a time of constant physical and personality changes. Hormonal changes will occur that implies that they have a great instability that conditions their way of reacting to these critical accidents.
- Your group of friends happens to have a crucial role. There will be times when they take refuge in the security that adults can provide, but others when they will oppose anything they say and make communication difficult.
- Difficulty managing their emotions in addition to not knowing well what role they play. Therefore, that phase of opposition that characterizes adolescence is being prepared
- As for death, they already understand that they too are going to die one day. Although they believe that will be when they are very old.
- There is no loss of autonomy, but quite the opposite, hyperactivity, perhaps isolation and a lot of irritability (which is the way a pre-adolescent cries)
- Talking to them about what happened causes them discomfort and stress. They will try to avoid this situation by taking refuge in the peer group where they can escape from what is happening
- Impulsiveness. Behaviors like running away from home are their ways of asking for help.
- It affects performance at school and their socialization.
- Changes in eating and sleeping behaviors.
Faced with some of these situations, we should not oversize them, but give them time to return to the state before the critical event
To contain, we will try to leave a space for them so that they do not have to deal with what has just happened. To calm him down, you have to let him be, since he will probably want the opposite of when he was younger and we hugged him.
They will give simple, concrete information and waiting for the questions they have to ask. And giving reassuring answers. We must accept that he finds comfort in his equals.
You can read more articles similar to How to Explain a Catastrophe to 9-12 Year Olds, in the category of Death on site.