This is such a good point about video game and media portrayal of death and particularly violent death. For kids who live in areas where there is a great deal of violence I wonder how that plays into their concept of death and what other layers of feelings get wrapped up in that. I don’t have clear answers but in our very techology connected society where we are bombarded with images daily it is something that needs to be considered.
I would guess the child’s developmental age plays a part in this. But I think we also need to be careful to not make assumptions about where a child is developmentally based on only their age. Case in point: When we lost our second pregnancy at 14 weeks the nature of the loss and issues with the fetus meant I had to have a medically necessary termination. We did not tell our daughter who was 2 1/2 at the time anything more than the baby died and was not ever coming home and I had to see a special doctor to help get Baby Hope out of my “tummy.” I had been doing mommy and me swim classes with her at the time. When we picked her up from the friends house that took care of her the day I had my procedure she asked me if we were going to go swim as that had been the routine, I told her yes, but that Grammie would be getting in the water with her. She then told me “mommy can’t swim because Baby Hope died.” Needless to say I was floored at the connection and our parents as teachers mentor was as well, that is not a typical 2 year old response or connection to be made. People told me don’t worry about your daughter, she won’t remember much, actually she remembers quite a bit from that week, things that can only clearly come from her own memory. So I guess my point is while there are over all expectations based on development and what is common, we need to be careful as well because not every child is going to fit the patterns.
I’ll stop here for now.