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Need some advice! What do you feel an appropriate punishment would be for....

A 5yr old killing a 3yr old pet fish? He has ADHD/autism so I don't even think he knows what he did was wrong. We had a beta fish for the same amount of time and it died suddenly last wk. My son watched my husband take it out and flush it so I believe he thought it was okay. I'm just scared he will do it again and need some advice as to a good punishment to try and make him understand that that was not okay. What kind of punishment would you do in this situation? Thanks in advance.....


Asked by jnsdrf at 11:41 AM on Jul. 28, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • I wouldn't punish him personally. Try to explain to him that it's wrong and that he shouldn't do it. It's like you said, he didn't know it was wrong and he doesn't understand. He saw his daddy do it and he thinks that's what he was supposed to. I'm sorry about the fish really I am. Maybe it's best that you not keep any fish in your home right now, or you put a hood/cover over the fish tank that he can't get into.

    My 3 year old son saw me dump poop from his undies into the toilet, so twice he flushed his undies because that's what he thought he was supposed to do. It's not his fault. It's mine for not explaining it better to him.

    Answer by thatgirl70 at 11:46 AM on Jul. 28, 2010

  • I think being that he is autistic I will be of little help to you. I do know that regardless of the ADHD or autism, if my child were to kill a pet, even by accident, we would not get another right away. I don't replace pets right away anyhow, whether they die or it just doesn't work out, because IMO that is teaching that life can just be replaced. kwim? So, I would certainly not get another right now if I were you. :) I hope you get an answer from someone that has an understanding of autism.

    Answer by Jessica157 at 11:45 AM on Jul. 28, 2010

  • You said it yourself "he doesnt know what he did was wrong" So in this situation you should just sit him down and explain it to him, no punishment, punishment is for when you intentionally do wrong.

    Answer by 2ndtimearound4 at 11:43 AM on Jul. 28, 2010

  • idk what would be an appropriate punishment. can you explain to him what he did and why it is wrong? would that help? i don't think i would get any more pets, though. at least, not until you know for sure he wouldn't hurt them.

    Answer by kyriesmommy13 at 11:44 AM on Jul. 28, 2010

  • Thank you for the responses. I did talk to him and tried to explain it to him. He wanted to try and put it back in the tank (which made me laugh)and said he was sorry. We don't plan on replacing any more right now. We still have 4 other fish the same age and one that is about 1yr. So when they die that's gonna be it for a while.

    Comment by jnsdrf (original poster) at 12:02 PM on Jul. 28, 2010