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Child and Death

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Children learn about death in different ways. They have vivid imaginations and can develop negative behaviors towards death if not dealt with properly. Inappropriate ways to describe death to a child under age of 12 include the use of euphemisms such as "Mommy went to heaven", "Nanny went away", or "Daddy is sleeping." The problem with euphemisms is that they tend to confuse the child. A child who is told that "Daddy is sleeping" believes that daddy would wake up again, since people wake up after they go to sleep. ...read more.


The child walked up to the casket in the church where his father was laid and started shaking the corpse trying to arouse his father from his sleep. Imagine the wave of emotion the misunderstanding created! It is better to help the child understand that the person has died. Being honest, simple and direct helps more than 'beating around the bush'. Using the correct words and language is preferable to using euphemisms, albeit difficult for adults. Other inappropriate ways include trying to avoid the subject or postponing the explanation of death and dying when it comes to the loss of a pet or somebody not too close to the family. ...read more.


Do not hide emotions. Explain feelings as a way to help children understand their own, but keep expression of strong, dramatic feelings for private times with other adults as this will cause more harm than good. Offer avenues of comfort to the child when they show emotion. Being straightforward with the child is the best approach in describing death to a child. Using appropriate words and language according to the level of the child is better than using euphemisms in explaining death to a child. Be simple and when answering questions that may arise from the child concerning death. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay is in response to a question about the delicate matter of Child/Death revelations. The candidate does well to address numerous issues about why it can be challenging for a parent/guardian to speak to children under the age of ...

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Response to the question

This essay is in response to a question about the delicate matter of Child/Death revelations. The candidate does well to address numerous issues about why it can be challenging for a parent/guardian to speak to children under the age of 12 about death. There is a consistent focus on the various other methods that are available and a subjective commentary about their success rates, though it is not enough to simply use subjective evidence and personal anecdotes as evidence for analytical points. As an analytical essay, the evidence should be as objective as possible and should be drawn from psychological research, as using personal anecdotes draws the focus of the question away from the centre.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown here is good, but there is a limit to which the essay can be described as thorough as a lot of the analysis shown does not delve to a very deep level of appropriate appreciation about children understanding death. I would like to see more evidence of psychological theory and evidence backing up most of the points though, as a lot of the answer appears very poorly evidenced with nothing but personal anecdotes. These are by no means bad, but evidence must be as objective as possible and the use of subjective interpretation is not acceptable as appropriate analysis.
I would also like to see a better structure given to the answer. I did however, like the use of the introductory paragraph which first discusses the issues with explaning death to children before discussing the alternative methods. But even so, there is no clear structure given and when interspersed with much subjective information, the focus is lost. This needs to be addressed and the candidate must be wary that everything they say directly pertains or contributes to the question and their answering it.

Quality of writing

The candidate here does not challenge themself very much. Their Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is very basic and as such, there are very few spelling, grammar and punctuation errors made. Whilst this is good, it limits their QWC mark. To improve, the candidate should aim to use a variety of more challenging written expressions such as long vs. short sentences to keep and answer interesting; colons and semi-colons in order to demonstrate confidence with more complex punctuation; and even a wider range of vocabulary that is wholly appropriate to the question and topic of intrest.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 14/03/2012

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