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How do I explain amputation to my kids?

My step-dad is probably having his leg amputated this week. How do we explain this to the kids? I want them to understand why grandpa doesn't have a leg anymore, but I also don't want to scare them using the wrong words. Any advice on a doll I can buy, or a Sesame Street video or something? The kids are 7, 4 1/2, and 18 months.

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Asked by momof2girls05 at 10:30 PM on Aug. 31, 2009 in Health

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Answers (7)
  • I don't know the mentality of your kids. So, here goes...can you just talk to them and explain that sometimes things happen and it doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It will help him. And he won't be any different than what he was before inside that is...on the outside he will be different...maybe take it from there...sorry you have to go through know more than we think...smarter than we think too....

    Answer by Safirejewl at 10:36 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • wow- that sucks! me personally (and i have NOT had experience w it) would explaing to the older ones that granpa's leg got a really bad sickness that could really hurt him if they left his leg on his body- so the dr's (and grandpa) decided to take it off so the rest of his body could stay healthy... get them involved.. ask them if that makes sense? maybe let them do some art projects for a good speedy recovery post surgery for him...let them ask plenty of questions and i would personally answer them honestly :) (to their level of course)

    sorry he has to go thru that!-- can i ask what happened?

    Answer by mommy-2-3 at 10:36 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • my grandpa had fingers removed from his hands and my parents always explained more each year. First it was "grandpa had an owie and to make grandpa better they had to take his fingers" then when I was 10 or 11 they explained the accident. Try to keep it simple with smaller words until they are a little older.
    I am sorry you have to go through this and for him too! I hope all goes well and just let your kids understand the basics, then explain more details as they grow!!! Hope all goes well for you and your family!!!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 10:46 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • It's kind of how you see it. Your kids may not see things the way you think. Grampa Kenny(fil) has one arm and no legs due to electrocution. My kids have asked him, and he told them. Doctor took them off to save my life. It was that simple. My kids say that Grampa Kenny lost his legs and arm in a really bad accident. That's about it. They even said some kind of funny kid things about it that make us(and grampa)chuckle, like when her barbie broke she said it looked like grampa, but we have never had our kids be terrified or upset about it. My father also is missing a limb. We just never made an issue of it. None of us as kids had any fears or anxieties about it. All of the grandkids know about it and they all play with him,sit on his lap,read stories,and treat him just like the rest of our family.

    Answer by Steff107 at 10:49 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • You know your kids best and what all they'll wanna know etc. My ds is 5 and if it were him, I think he'd have a TON of questions.
    I remember seeing some kind of add for something about veterens in a magazine one time and he asked me, "Why does that man have a robot looking leg?" So, I told him the man probably had been hurt really badly and that doctors weren't able to fix his leg. So, they took off his leg and gave him a new one to use instead. It was a good enough answer for him then.

    Answer by rachel92782 at 11:24 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • My prev. answer about the magazine pic made me think... maybe you could find some pics online of ppl who are amputees???

    Answer by rachel92782 at 11:25 PM on Aug. 31, 2009


    Answer by Arisce at 11:26 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

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