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Children & Difficult Times

For infants and toddlers, death has very little meaning. School-aged children begin to understand death as permanent, universal, and inevitable. A predominant theme in adolescence is a feeling of immortality or being exempt from death.
The ultimate goal in discussing death with a dying child is to optimize his or her comfort and alleviate any fears. If the child is not ready to discuss death, the most helpful step parents can take is to wait until he or she is ready.
Anger, fear, separation anxiety, a sense of abandonment, self-blame, sadness and embarrassment are common reactions to divorce for most children.
Children deal with death in many different ways, and not necessarily in the same manner as adults.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15- to 24-year-olds. The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in youth are depression, substance abuse, and aggressive or disruptive behaviors.
Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage and religious faith.
In many cases of suicide or attempted suicide, undiagnosed and untreated mental illness—especially depression—is to blame.
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