It is a sad time for our Partners In Learning family. One of our PreK children (Titus Morris) lost their mother this week after a long battle with cancer; Tasha Schmidt Morris, 28, of Salisbury, passed away Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, at Gordon Hospice House in Statesville. Titus will continue to be cared for by his wonderful, loving dad, Grant Morris. This is going to be a difficult for Grant and Titus and we will continue to lift them up in our prayers.
Many adults make the unfortunate mistake of thinking that children are merely uneducated, miniature adults. The very young child (one under the age of 6 or 7) may not yet be capable of what Piaget calls "cognitive reciprocity." This means, in effect, that he cannot really benefit from learning outside the realm of his own experience. In talking about death, therefore, such children will naturally react in the light of their own experiences and of what they have been told by adults or have seen in the media.
Listening carefully to a child is important, because adults may tend to read into a question much more than is asked. When a child asks about what made a pet die, an answer which involves "going to heaven" or "being called to be with God" can be much more confusing than a simple "He didn't have enough water to drink" or "He got very very sick, and we couldn't make him better." The real key is in addressing the question that is intended, whether or not it is the one that is verbalized. The unspoken question is often "Could that happen to me?" When a parent dies the parallel question is "Who will take care of me now?" Often, these questions are not raised directly, but may come out in such form as "What if I get very very sick?". The best advice is doing what this dad did and listening to your child and the professionals.
Memorial Service: 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Salisbury Seventh Day Adventist Church, 305 Rudolph Road, Salisbury, NC, 28146.