Giving Hope With Dr. Schwartzman


Today’s Tough Conversations: How to Speak with Children About Loss and Illness
A Talk about the new book, GIVING HOPE, By Dr. Elena Lister, MD and Dr. Michael Schwartzman, Ph.D.
Interviews Available August 30th and After by Request


Kids today have had to live with the fear and death toll of COVID, news of school shootings (23 incidents this year so far), heartbreaking photos of children killed in the Ukraine war, not to mention potentially dealing with illness or loss in their own family or friends.  Avoiding talks about tough subjects can only make kids feel worse – how can adults and caregivers learn the best ways to communicate scary concepts like death to young people?

In the new book, GIVING HOPE: Conversations with Children About Illness, Death, and Loss (Avery/Penguin/Random House, August 30th, 2022), authors Dr. Elena Lister, MD and Michael Schwartzman, Ph.D, discuss how parents can make even the most unbearable experiences more manageable for kids.  Drawing on decades of professional experience and their own personal experiences, the authors offer a compassionate and practical guide to turning dreaded, distressing moments into times when they can be vulnerable and trust their caregivers about matters of death.

During interviews, Dr. Lister and/or Dr. Schwartzman would discuss:

–Why it is in the best interests of children to learn about death from parents early on.
–Who else might benefit from learning good ways to talk to kids about death.
–Insights, stories, and examples of sample conversations and steps to take when preparing for or having these kinds of conversations.
–How to best help children with their emotional responses to reports of death in the media.
–Ways to seize everyday opportunities to talk about death through exploring movies, nature, and more.
–How to support a child after the loss of a loved one.

Reinforcing honesty and empathy throughout, GIVING HOPE shows how accepting the reality of death and embracing grief together can make a child more resilient, strengthen your bond, and bring a renewed appreciation for life.

About the Authors:

Elena Lister, MD, is associate professor of clinical psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and senior consulting analyst for grief at Columbia Psychoanalytic Center. She treats adults and children facing all life issues, specializes in grief, and is a frequently sought-out expert on dealing with loss in schools across the country. Dr. Lister is the coauthor of I Will Remember You: A Guidebook Through Grief for Teens.

Michael Schwartzman, PhD, ABPP, a senior psychologist and board-certified psychoanalyst, has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families for more than forty years. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Schwartzman is the consulting psychologist at two independent schools for children and lectures regularly to parents and professional colleagues on child development, parenting, and school-related issues. He is the author of The Anxious Parent: Freeing Yourself from the Fears and Stresses of Parenting.