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My sons fish just died!!!!

My ds fish just died. I went to put clothes away in his room and saw the fish belly up. My son will be home from school this afternoon and he always feeds the fish then. How do I explain to him that his beloved fish ( that he bought with his own $) Is no longer "with us"???? He loves his fish.

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Asked by sunsetbeach81 at 12:05 PM on Jun. 2, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 16 (3,102 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • How old is he? Just be honest with him.

    Answer by Dahis at 12:06 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • what kind of fish?? can you run out and get a new one while hes at school??? I know you should be honest with your child, I just wouldnt want to break his little heart.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:07 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • Time for a fishy funeral ~

    Answer by tasches at 12:07 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • He is 7. It is just a beta, but he loves it. He even reads to it.

    Comment by sunsetbeach81 (original poster) at 12:09 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • Tell him the truth and see whether he wants to do a little funeral and burial.

    Answer by Bmat at 12:22 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • We had to replace many a betta before my kids came home from school. Whatever you decide to do, Good luck :)

    Answer by Mrs_Harsh at 12:23 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • IMO, you have to bite the bullet. It will be tough, but death is a part of life. Our beloved dog died when my son was 6, and everyone thought I was crazy to bring the dog home and bury it. But, as a Master's level social worker, I believe that children are more afraid of the "unknown" than the "known". This event probably will not traumatize your child, if you are matter of fact and sensitive to his feelings. Tell him that fish do not live as long as we do. Be careful not to bring up replacing the pet right away, let your child take the lead in this. Here's a good link for some advice:

    Good luck with the funeral, and I am sure it will all turn out OK! Kids are a lot stronger than we give them credit for most of the time!


    Answer by dwmom2008 at 12:25 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • Death is part of life. Let your son grieve and if he wants, a new fish can replace this one.

    Answer by scout_mom at 12:28 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

  • I would be honest, support him in being sad, and let him have a little funeral for the fish if he so desires. Let him know that this is a natural lifespan for a fish, that he gave the fish a wonderful life, and that the fish was very lucky to have him care for it for it's entire natural life.

    I do know people who have basically replaced the fish... personally I have never done that. I kind of see it as a teachable moment about death, and preparation for losses that are not going to be able to be covered up. Let him know it's normal to be sad and support him. He may be upset at first, but in time he will feel better and have happy memories instead.

    One of our guinea pigs passed away last summer and it broke my heart to see the kids so upset (especially since I was also upset, she was my pet too!) but now the kids speak of her fondly and without sadness- they miss her but remember the good times instead of the loss.

    Answer by Freela at 2:00 PM on Jun. 2, 2011

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