article addresses the need for anticipatory guidance about death and death
education with young children. Children often experience the death of an
immediate family member before the age of ten. This number increases if one
considers the loss of friends, pets, and other loved ones. However, children experience
a death with little or no anticipatory guidance or knowledge about death. Anticipatory
guidance can assist the child in having a better understanding of a death when
it occurs. Talking about death with children can be difficult for adults. However,
it is important to address the topic and realize the impact anticipatory
guidance in relation to death can have in assisting with childhood bereavement,
anticipatory grief, and anticipatory adaptation. By providing anticipatory
education related to death symptoms such as grief, anger, and/or fear,
regressive or aggressive behaviors can be prevented or lessened when a death
occurs. Age appropriate developmental levels for understanding the concept of
death, resources for death education, and literature that can be used for death
education are presented. Any resource used for death education with children
should be carefully reviewed by the adult for its appropriateness prior to its
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