When do children begin to understand the concept of death?
Host: When do children begin to understand the concept of death? Rene Hackney: Children start to understand the concept of death as early as six to eight months mold. Some researchers argue that separation anxiety and object permanence which develop in that first year are the basis for understanding death. Other researchers say that's way too young and those things are a separate issue. So it's more about three to five years old, where children start to peace together and understanding. Earlier than three -- and death is seen as very similar to sleep or to separation. So children don't have a good understanding of the differentiation. Somewhere three to five years old most children start to realize death is separate from sleep. They can see a dead caterpillar and realize that its dead it's not just sleeping. Death though through about three to five years old still seen as being temporary and reversible. Children don't have a good understanding, a firm understanding that tends to happen a bit later around 9-12 years old, where it becomes a more mature understanding.