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Should you tell your kids when a pet dies? PIOG

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM
  • 8 Replies

My SIL and I are having this debate.  Her daughters have in the past 3 months or so gotten and "lost" two kittens.  They were outside cats.  One climbed into their truck and the other was hit and they both died.  My BIL and SIL told the girls they ran away to be with their mommies.  Each cat they had less than two months.

Our cat recently had to be put to sleep.  My hubby and I were devestated.  He got her for me when I was pregnant with our first before he was deployed.  We have 3 inside cats, but she was our fave because she interacted with the kids.  We told them she was sicka nd had to be put down.  My son helped my stepdad cremate her (he has a business) and he picked out an urn and she sits in our living room so "she can watch over her family" (said my 5 year old).

My son told her girls all about our cat.  How she was sick, went to the vet, died, and was cremated and put into the urn.  Everytime my neices come over they ask him about it now.  My SIL is upset that my sons know so much about it and are telling her girls.

We have different opinions on the whole thing.  But our situations are different too.  Our cat was a member of our family for years and I think she deserved to be loved and remembered and honored--not just thrown away like their kittens.  And my stepdad is a funeral director and cremates pets, so my kids are, I hate to use the term "used to death" but they know about it.  My oldest told me when I was crying about our cat not to worry I would see her again in Heaven.

Plus, our husbands' grandmother is very old but very active in our kids' lives, I think that the kids should be introduced to the idea of death before something happens to her (or anyone really).  As sad as it was for our family, our cat's death got our kids asking about death and Heaven and whatnot, so now MAYBE they will feel a little better if they should lose a human family member.

What do you all think? Would you have told your kids? 

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM
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Replies (1-8):
sunshinemama86
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:15 PM

i agree with you if the pet is close to the family you should tell them. my dd is three and noticed one of the fishes was gone and she was a little upset but fish can not runaway lol.

skylee7877
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:21 PM

I totally agree with you! When I was growing up I had a friend who's aunt and uncle would tell their kids their pets ran away then they would put the bodies under a condimed house on their property. When the kids were teens, they had that house torn down and the kids saw all the bones and were very upset! My DD is 3 yrs old and though it's hard, I have told her about fish dieing and 1 hamster. I try not to flush the fish around her but she did see me once. It has not harmed her in any way, she tends to forget after a few days. We have a dog that we got almost a year ago and I know one day she won't be here. She calls her "her sister" and though it will be hard to explain, I'm not going to tell her she ran away unless of course she actually does! It's hard but I think it's better for kids to know the truth about animals dieing.  Though your situation with the neices reminds me of my SIL, she thinks the same way as yours!


ShireeCS
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I told my daughter that her cat got hit by a car and died when she was 3 she was upset but she was ok with it. She has known about death since forever. My dad passed away when I was 3 so I alwayss talked about my dad and how he was in heaven. My grandmother passed away a few weeks after her cat was hit by a car she was upset and was able to understand it better.  Everyday she talks about her and says special prayers for her and our other loved ones that we have lost over the years. I think its a good thing to teach kids.




 

KBix
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 3:20 PM

when my son's fish died, i had him flush him to say goodbye to him. I do not believe in lieing to kids about death of pets.








 




 
ChesterGirl
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM

I think that you should most definitely tell your child when a pet dies , no matter what the childs age . Death is a very real part of life and its never to soon to start explaining it to them . I grew up on a farm , so for me it was always just a fact of life that sometimes animals die , theres no good reason to shelter a child from something thats such a HUGE reality .

AngelicaRenee
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM

I definitely don't think its a good thing to hide death from kids. It's something that happens, whether it's an animal or a person. My brother was murdered when I was 8, my sister was 5. we had a few cats who died before that happened and we knew they died, we knew what death was.

I have an older dog, I don't think he's gonna live much longer so I probably won't have to explain it to my 2 year old. but when he gets a little older and sees pictures of the dog I'll tell him what happened.

Marimaru
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Another vote for being honest about it.

Of course, I also have an opinion on having outside cats in an area where something will happen to them like that.

Marimaru

Mommy of Isabelle Rose, born 10/11/2009

mom2LandL
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 6:04 PM


Quoting Marimaru:

Another vote for being honest about it.

Of course, I also have an opinion on having outside cats in an area where something will happen to them like that.

Trust me, so do I.  The only outside cat we have ever had was one that "came with our house".  She was here when we moved in and we felt bad.  We thought about bringing her in, but she attacks our kids if they get close to her...so we feed her and give her straw.  ANd as annoying and messy as my cats are, I could never bring myself to put them out.

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