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How do I tell my almost 3 year old that our dog died?

He's very speech delayed so he can't really ask questions. And he thinks everything that disappears went to she daddy. I guess bc we are separated and he goes to see him... Everything from stuffed animals to cars. It's weird. Anyways I don't want to think she went to see daddy and then she never comes back.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:07 PM on Feb. 12, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (8)
  • Simply explain death (WITHOUT SAYING THE WORDS "went to sleep"!!! or talking about heaven, they both freak kids out!) in words he can understand. Everyone dies, it is healthy to learn the reality of it.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 12:10 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • I am very sorry for your loss. Just try to explain that she was sick and went to doggy heaven to get better and to be happy. Will u be getting another dog,after awhile?

    Answer by dancer at 12:21 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • The fuck? so... you would rather your child be afraid to go to sleep, or get "taken to heaven" where he'll be away from his mommy. OK. have fun with that. I've watched the aftermath of stupid parents who LIED to their kids about death, and dealt with screaming children who refused to sleep, and were afraid of being taken away... You have fun with that. kk?

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 12:24 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • When I was little, I was an animal lover & very sensitive. I had a parakeet that was my world. Well, "Buddie" died & I came down for breakfast one morning & said where is buddie? My Mom said "Oh, he went to see his relatives in Florida for a vacation" . I was upset he left but thought eventually he'd come back from vacation. I soon forgot that he was away! I appreciate that my Mom did NOT give me the gruesome details since I really believe that little kids especially Toddlers DO NOT need to Know everything in the adult world yet! Let them have a magical Childhood for as long as they can because once you grow up, the magic is often over. That's my opinion. The REAL world will come soon enough.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 12:27 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • We use to have an outside cat, that ran away, my ds who is almost 3 asked a few times where he was and we just told him and was playing with some of his other friends. He hasn't asked in a few weeks. I agree with ilovemypaulie.... Let them just be kids.

    Answer by BabyBugsmama at 1:17 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • I personally wouldn't ignore the issue. I had to tell my 2 year old our cat died. I told her straight out, sassy got sick and the animal doctor couldn't make her better so she died and went to heavan. She understood and she cried and it was sad but I felt better knowing she knew that sassy was not coming back.

    Answer by lilysmom2607 at 2:05 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • Children's Age and Grief

    Under Two:
    Children under two can sense stress in the house even though they do not know the cause. They need extra comfort and attention during the grieving period. Infants and very young children may not understand the death of a pet, but they are very aware of the tension and change in emotional state of those around them. Advise parents that reassuring them by hugging and holding them, and keeping the household routine as normal as possible will help.

    Toddlers and preschool age:
    Children 2 to 5 may believe they are invincible. Death to them is seen on TV with resurrections common in cartoons. Often these cartoon characters are animals, which does not help them to understand the finality of death for their own pets. Explaining death without euphemism will help them better understand it later. Children under seven may need help in understanding that the pet will not wake up or come home.

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 2:03 AM on Feb. 13, 2011

  • This is so tough, not just to answer but to deal with. I guess first of all it depends on age, then religious belief is any. If you don't believe in heaven or don't want your child to, I wouldn't tell them there is a doggy heaven. Death is real and certain, but it doesn't need to be for toddlers. There is a good way to explain it so they at least somewhat understand and expect them to be sad and cry. Take this situation as an opportunity to teach your child the value of life, especially human life.

    Answer by LuvMyBabies912 at 3:44 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

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