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Do you shield your children from death?

We just had a pet die (10 year old husky/shepherd mix) and the youngest ones were shuttled off to school not knowing he had passed.


Asked by tasches at 5:08 PM on May. 5, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (14)
  • No. We've tried to be upfront but reassuring. We've had a few pets die (the hardest one by far for the kids was one of our guinea pigs, Frenzy. They loved her so much, and tried so hard to help her when she was sick.) We've always explained what that means and had the kids involved with saying goodbye, having a little funeral for the pet, etc. When my grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, we talked to the kids about it. We explained what the funeral would be like and said it was up to them whether they went or not- they decided not to go. My dd was spooked by the whole idea, and my ds said he wanted to remember her like when she was alive. The kids asked questions, grieved, and moved on. They still talk about Frenzy, and about great-grandma and great-grandpa, and how they miss them. But I think that's quite normal- I miss them too!

    Answer by Freela at 9:44 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Depends on how old... how will you handle the questions about the pet should you choose not to tell them that he's passed?

    Answer by CeeCee333 at 5:12 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • No, It's a fact of life. Why hide it from them, My parents did it to me and i completely wigged out at the first funeral i went to.

    Answer by Mrs_Harsh at 5:12 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Sort of. We dont go to funerals because I dont want my kids to go to them since they are not something I want them exposed to until they are older. I lost two family members when I was 9 & 15 and the funerals really still haunt me. With pets also I dont say anything about them being sick or dying (we lost a kitten last year) until they are older.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:12 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • No... it's a big part of life. It also stops the questions of "where is ___?" and searching for an answer at odd times.
    My parents have ignored my question when they put a cat to sleep, lead me to believe they gave our cow away when he was butchered, told me 3 other animals ran away when they were either hit by cars or something else and when I found out later I was always really upset that I didn't know immediately. I don't want that for my child.

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 5:15 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • No. Death is part of life. It's unavoidable. My kids went to their first funeral at 2 1/2, 18 months and 5 months (it was actually the 2nd one for my oldest, her first was at like 10 weeks old). We've never hidden family members deaths and when my dad had a heart attack we told them he could die. My oldest was turning 6 at the time and was pretty upset. The nurse in the ICU made an exception and let her come visit despite the no kids under 12 rule. They also visited their great uncle in the hospital, knowing he was going to die (he ended up dying a couple days later but we couldn't go to the funeral).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 5:15 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • no,I didn't. BUT we didn't dwell on it and we stressed that it was a good thing to spend each day looking for joy......not ruminating about death and dying.
    There have been a lot of "death themed" questions here lately,haven't there?

    Answer by minnesotanice at 5:16 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • no, we haven't. in fact, at 6yo, he has a pretty good and solid idea of death. he knows that sometimes death makes people sad, and that its okay to be sad.

    Answer by dullscissors at 5:24 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Not at all. My children are 4 and 5 and have experience the death of a cat, a rabbit, my two grandfathers, and a woman from church. We talk about it, read books about life cycles, read pertinent Bible verses, etc. They were too young to really understand when my cat died, but they helped bury the rabbit.

    Answer by MariAnKenobi at 5:25 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • No, I think they should know. I've had a few animals die also and the kids were there to know what happened. It can't all be rainbows and stuff.

    Answer by justme782 at 5:33 PM on May. 5, 2011