DEATH,FAMILY AND PET


Shiqi Zhang


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email: zsq2047@icloud.com

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This project aims to provide a way of death education through pet loss. In this broad game parents and children will go through pet ownership role-play to experience the  ups and downs in the life cycle.








Pet, our beloved companion animals. After being tamed and domesticated by our ancestors, these wild creatures have now become our family members, who we shared our space and time with. Pet ownership in the family with children is usually considered as beneficial with companionship and responsibility. These complex bonds shared with animal in childhood often resemble as human attachment type involving affection, protection and reassurance.  However, with the pet average life span of only 5-15 years, death become an inevitable factor that a children may experience in their childhood and adolescent. Even though a formal and honest death education for children in early days would be the nest solution, some parents may anxious about letting their children to expose to such heavy topic in a young age. The concerns of exposing their child in traumatic experience may lead to actions like, avoiding the fact of death, or only discuss about death when facing the breaking of a bond with a friend or relative.























Archeology:
Bond between children and pet

Paradox:
Death is inevitably breaking up the bond, need to teach children how to cope with the loss. For parents: how to talk about death with children.

Context:
The inner circle of stakeholders: children, parents, teacher.

Field:
Social background, culture background about death education, bereavement support, phycological support.

Themes:
Mental health, parent-children relationship, human-pet relationship.

Frame:
Bereavement support for children (or in their childhood) who had previous loss through playing, using play therapy to express their feeling and learn about death.

Futures:
Workshop about educating how to cope with a loss.

Transformation:
Enhance relationship between parents and child by talking about death formally but playfully.

Integration:
How to transform a heavy topic to something easy, the breaking of the bond with the pet might an opportunity to rebuild a new bond between parents and children.