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What you need to know about ticks!

With summer starting it is worth talking about ticks. Lyme disease can be misdiagnosed, so if you have any of the symptoms (even if you don’t see a tick or bite), talk to your doctor. Be sure to read the PSP guide to what you need to know about ticks on the PSP website here.

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How To Talk To Kids About Death: Overview

 

This is an overview from the 2018 talk, "How To Talk with Kids About Death" Park Slope Parents and Green-wood Cemetery co-sponsored. 

Presenters:

Amy Cunningham The Inspired Funeral

Liana Smith-Murphy, play, child and adolescent therapist at BrooklynPlayTherapy.com

GW-kids-event

 

Age appropriate honesty is important. Kids know more than we think they do. If you’re not honest kids can come up with fantasized explanations of death (“I made grandma get sick and die”). Using concrete things like “X has died. Their body is no longer working” (rather than “Nana is ‘sleeping’” which can freak young kids out and lead to, “when is she going to wake up?”). You can also talk about your beliefs: “Our family believes that after someone dies you go to heaven.”

Let kids ask questions. Many adults have issues about talking about death so kids can believe it’s not okay to talk about being sad or the death. Everyone experiences death differently.

Ask kids questions and listen. “What do you think happens when you die?” “How are you feeling?” Know that sadness, anger and maybe relief are natural emotions to be feeling.

Any child old enough to love is old enough to grieve. Grieving is not a pathology that we need to “fix.” There are ebbs and flows in grieving. Also know that kids (young kids especially) can’t take a lot of intense sadness at once. If they seem really sad but then seem to be happy, that’s normal. If kids are running around laughing at the funeral remember—they’re just kids! Oh, and don’t assume that the death of a pet isn’t as upsetting as the death of a person.

How does age effect how kids deal with death? Of course it depends on the child, but generally…

  • Kids under 7 don’t understand the permanence of death; they are egocentric and full of magical thinking. Things like “grandpa has gone to heaven and will look down on us” can lead to “grandpa is always watching me.”
  • Kids 9-12 or so have more awareness of death and can comprehend ideas about an afterlife.

Inform the kids’ school that there’s been a death and ask they can keep an eye on your child. Kids are sensitive to being “different” so may not want to talk about death with their friends, teachers or school counselors.

Letting kids get involved can help them process their grief. Don’t force them to help; offer but don’t push (follow their lead). Decorating the cremation box (which is cardboard), shovel soil into the grave, help spread the ashes, write letters to the deceased for the coffin or cremation box, or write a story/obituary about the deceased. If they want to look at an open casket that’s okay. Ask if they want to speak at the funeral (if appropriate).

Honor the dead with rituals

  • Light a candle
  • Do something special on the birthday of the deceased
  • Make a memory box/scrapbook of their life that you can bring out during holidays
  • Tell stories about the deceased to keep their memory alive


(Here are some other we've researched)

  • Make their favorite meal
  • Visit their grave and bring flowers
  • Watch their favorite movie, read their favorite book, listen to their favorite music
  • Plant a memorial tree, buy a memorial bench
  • Keep an item of clothing that they have in your closet

Lean on others (friends, family, therapists) for your own grieving. If you are not okay you can’t be present for your kids. All of the things mentioned above can also help you (e.g., rituals, processing, etc.)

Here’s the Children’s Booklist by the National Home Funeral Alliance that has a bunch of different books that help explain death to kids of different ages. The book Milestones was one that the speakers mentioned specifically.

 

Resources for Coping with Park Slope's Tragedy

For many, the crash at 9th Street and 5th Avenue on March 5th, 2018 was very emotional. For people on the scene it was even more traumatic.  We're working with some trauma and grief therapists (thanks to them for reaching out) to put together sessions that may help folks deal with the emotional aftermath of today's scene. Here are those resources:

Whether you were a witness, heard about it and were impacted, or had another experience that was retriggered by last week’s neighborhood (local? 5th Avenue?) tragedy, your feelings around this matter.

Below is a list of therapists who have offered support or have been listed as specializing in trauma/grief. We appreciate their stepping forward to help. (As a reminder—this is not an endorsement of any one therapist or approach to therapy.)

It's important to be supportive of the people who were there; it can help with their recovery.  We are going to gather a list of resources and post those as well.  

Please share these resources with your nanny-- some were at the scene and others know someone who has been impacted.

Resources about coping with this traumatic event:

 

 

Read more...

The Doughnut Fix Launch Party

Bring your child (8-years-old and up) to the Brooklyn Public Library to celebrate the publication of The Doughnut Fix, the first book in a fun new series by New York author Jessie Janowitz.
Meet the author and hear her read an excerpt from the book!


Enjoy hands-on activities!

There will be a book sale and signing!

Doughnuts will be served!


What: The Doughnut Fix Launch Party
When: Saturday, April 21st
Time: 1:00pm
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center

More Info HERE

Donut Fix

 

This event is recommended for ages 8 and up.