HELPING CHILDREN COPE WITH SEPARATION AND LOSS by Claudia L. Jewett

HELPING CHILDREN COPE WITH SEPARATION AND LOSS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

By the family-therapist author of, auspiciously, Adopting the Older Child (1978): a fine blend of explanations and strategies for aiding children who've experienced death, divorce, or some other alteration of the family structure (like change of foster homes). Self-esteem is always a crucial issue; therefore, ""pair the child whose parents are newly divorced with another such child for schoolwork; spontaneous conversations regarding the similarities and differences in the situations often occur."" to assess the degree of self-blame involved, one can ask directly, indirectly, or symbolically (watch for recurring themes in the child's play). Jewett explains the stages in the child's mourning process: from denial and disbelief, to acute grief (marked by such extremes as yearning, pining, and compulsive searching behavior), to integration of the loss. Watch out, she advises, for either suppressed sadness or constant expressions of sadness as evidence that the grief is not being resolved well. (In the case of suppression, Jewett offers some ingenious suggestions for the use of faces--not only drawings, but the child's own face.) With pointers on hyperactivity, overeating, and other acting-out behaviors in the resolution of grief: a valuable tool for both family members and helping professionals.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Harvard Common Press