Tales: A Tool to Address Death With Children


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Abstract

Children are curious about death, but it is also one of their biggest fears and a primary cause of sadness. Several authors argue that tales are an appropriate tool for addressing concepts of death. This article summarizes and evaluates 23 tales dealing with death in terms of their usefulness in helping 3- to 9-year-old children understand and cope with the concept of death. On a Likert scale of 1 to 10 points, the 23 tales received an average score of 6.62 points (SD, 0.72) points (range, 5.32–7.53 points). There was no significant correlation between the average score and selection frequency (rSpearman = −0.26; P = .3). Only 2 of the tales analyzed indicated the recommended reading age. Nurses can recommend that families use tales that deal with death as a teaching tool because death themes are presented in a positive and realistic way that promotes understanding and coping with the concept of death.

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