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Talking About Death (Things to Avoid)

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Talking Points to Avoid

□Don't force a child to participate in a discussion about death. Answer honestly and as factually as you can. They may ask some questions repeatedly.

□Never link suffering and death with guilt, punishment and sin.

□Don't be judgemental; don't lecture.

□Don't force a "regular day" upon grieving students; but at the same time, don't allow the class to be totally unstructured. Offer choices of activities, e.g., letters, journals and discussion.

□Don't say "I know how you feel" unless you truly do.

□Don't force others to look for something positive in the situation.

□Don't feel you must handle this alone. Ask for help.

□Don't expect "adult responses" from children and teenagers. Their grief responses may seem inappropriate to you (i.e., giggling).

□Don't minimize their feelings.

□Do not force your religious beliefs on a child. ​