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Is this normal or should I be concerned?

My son is 9. Yesterday and the day before, he told me that he couldn't stop thinking about death. When I asked him what he thought when he thought about death, he said he thought of him dying and losing all his stuff. He's a happy kid in general, and he seems just as happy as always, no depression or sadness. There's nothing that indicates any obsession with death to me - he's not playing violent video games or looking anything up online about death, not talking to people about it. Just two random comments that he can't stop thinking about it (so far).

We haven't had any deaths among friends or family recently, but we did have to put our dog down a couple of weeks ago.

Is this just a normal part of getting beyond the death of a pet or something/someone close to you? Or should I be concerned?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:43 AM on Aug. 5, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (8)
  • I'd say this is pretty normal. I also have a 9 year old DS and he went through this a couple months ago. No one we knew had died, no pets or anything. I think they're just discovering mortality and trying to wrap their heads around it. I wouldn't be concerned.

    Answer by BeaverHouse at 8:33 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • Thank you! I have an older child who never did this, that's why I wasn't sure.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:36 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • I think this is about the age where the realize that death is a forever kind of thing, if he continues to bring it up, I might have him talk to someone, but be sure to communicate with him, that there is a very low chance he will die. If he starts to be afraid of things he used to love, like skateboarding, roller coasters, then I would be worried, thank goodness he is able to talk about it.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 9:38 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • Oh, I have talked to him about the fact that he's unlikely to die. I asked him if he thought he was going to die, and he said no. He's a bit of a little daredevil, and that hasn't changed recently. He does have his fears (roller coasters is one! lol), but when I've talked to him, it seems to be like my fear of heights: I'm afraid, but I don't think I'm going to die from it, it's just unpleasant.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:55 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • Death of a pet is just a traumatizing to people/kids as if it was a friend or family member.  It is normal.  Part of the grieving process


    Answer by louise2 at 10:02 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • I would say it's normal. I'm sure he will be okay, just give it a little time
    when my son was 14 our dog died- we'd had him 12 years and Nathan took it harder than anyone else.

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:56 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • Having to put a beloved pet to sleep can be traumatizing.

    Do you have a kind priest or minister he could talk to? They could explain the spiritual side of death to him.

    Answer by Mermaid65 at 11:59 AM on Aug. 5, 2013

  • Aww- so sorry about the recent loss of your pet. Having just lost our own beloved 13 y/o dog on 7/20- I feel your pain. I'm sure that could have triggered his feelings & concerns about that issue. It's best to just keep listening & reassuring him, like the others have said. And if things get too intense for you to deal with, then have him talk to a mental health professional, or your preacher/priest. GL

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 12:16 PM on Aug. 5, 2013

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