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How did you handle a pet's death with your kids?

My daughter's cat just died in the middle of my living room and it was a bit of a shock. He was young and fiesty, started acting a LITTLE sick yesterday thought he was doing better today...then, well...he died.

I was shocked myself so when my daughter said "Kiki is still sick, he can't get up" I went with it and said "Maybe grandpa can come take him to the doctor, because he is too sick to live with us anymore".

It just came out. I know I should probably have tried to explain death a little better and she does kind of understand it because she has been to funerals before, but this is the first thing/person close to her to die. She is also 3 and I'm here myself, so I didn't want to try to explain death while I'm double bagging her cat.

I took her in the other room with me to change her sister's diaper while grandpa picked up Kiki and left it at that.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that has lied.


Asked by kabbot01 at 7:33 PM on Apr. 5, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (4)
  • I accidently ran over my daughter's puppy last year, well she was at the half puppy half grown stage. She usually stayed at my moms house across the road from me with their male dog and he liked to run along side our cars when we left out their long circle driveway and she started doing the same thing...well one day he ran out in front of me so I slammed on my brakes and I was going up a hill that curved in their driveway in loose gravel and my cars a stick and I kinda had to punch it to get up it and the time that I did I ran over my daughter's dog Maggie...I tried to lie to her at first but decided to be honest eventho she was only 2 yrs old at the time. After my mom and dads dog died a few months later she said "Mama Max died...mama Maggie died, you ran over her, you killed her mama"...made me feel horrible!

    Answer by misspriss_1987 at 7:43 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Don't tell her anymore than you know she can understand. I just told my three year old that the fish went to sleep and won't wake up anymore. She seemed to understand that very well. I know there will be better and more times to have a talk with her about it as she get's older.

    Answer by Steff107 at 7:39 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • You have done well...
    Later when she is much older and can understand it better then explain it to her... but you did well...
    Hugs to you and to your dd...

    Answer by gmasboy at 7:47 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Whatever you do - don't explain death as relating to sleep. It can REALLY scare a child that you can go to sleep and NOT wake up. Either leave it where you left it (what I would probably do) or explain death as best you can and move on. Tell them something similar to what you believe (if you have a religion, etc.). i.e. Everyone has a body and a soul. The soul is what makes us who we are, the body is like a car we ride around in. At some point, everyone dies (but not you, dad or them for a very long time) but there is nothing to be afraid of. It just means their body stopped working and their soul went to heaven. We'll see them again when we get there. Until then, we have to remember how great they were. Good Luck.

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 8:36 PM on Apr. 5, 2009