Grieving and Loss with Dr. John Simpson (pedcast)

Welcome to another edition of  I am your host, Dr. Paul Smolen, a general pediatrician with now 31 years of experience caring for children.  For regular listeners, thanks for your great support: For new listeners, welcome aboard: this is the pediatric blog that covers topics from gestation to graduation.   I am excited because today we are going to launch a new series of pedcasts with a new guest expert, an experienced and wise psychologist and friend Dr. John Simpson. Dr. Simpson has a PhD in psychology with a special interest in adolescent behavioral disturbances.  He is currently helping children and families at the Presbyterian Psychological Services in Charlotte, NC.   I think you will quickly see after you listen to him, that he is a bonafide expert in emotional issues that surround children, parents, and families. I thought we would start Dr. Simpson off with a discussion of a child’s perception of death and ask him to answer some practical questions that might help parents guide their children when death and grieving touches a family.  Lets get started, shall we?   Q1: Why don’t we start by giving us some insight into how children usually look at death at their different ages.  Certainly 4 year olds don’t look at the world the same way a 14 year old would.   Q2. Do you have any tips for parents about how to talk to their children, (lets say 9 year old), about death?  Are there dos and don’ts for these conversations?   Q3. What do psychologists mean when they say a child’s behavior has regressed?  Is this normal?  For how long would you expect this to resolve?  Are there signs that a child is simply not coping with loss?   Q4.  OK Dr. Simpson, what is your advice to parents about visiting terminally ill relatives and going to the actual funeral?   Q5. What is your best advice to parents to help them assist their children with grieving?  Well, I want to thank Dr. Simpson for sharing his wisdom with us today.  If you have a comment for him or myself about today’s pedcast, feel free to fire it off to us at my blog,  I think my web assistants have made it easy to write in comments and to share a post you like with friends or family.  Go ahead and try it.  If you want to get all the latest content hot off the blog press, go ahead and subscribe on iTunes.  This is Dr. Paul Smolen, hoping your child’s emotional pain is quick to wane.  Until next time.