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My Daughter Is Cruel to Animals & I'm Okay With That

Posted by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM
  • 18 Replies

My Daughter Is Cruel to Animals & I'm Okay With That

by Judy Dutton

For my daughter's 4th birthday, my dad presented her with a wild salamander he'd found under a rock and stuck in a terrarium. He thought it would provide my daughter, Indiana, or "Indy" for short, with some amusement, and it sure did. First she pulled off its tail (salamanders can grow them back, but still!). She then poked and prodded the poor thing so much, I thought it would die of fear. When I finally insisted we set it free in the woods, she decided to chuck it into the middle of a lake. Can salamanders swim? Hope so.

Many kids are cruel to animals -- or so I've heard. This does not make it right, but it does give me some assurance that I probably don't have a budding psychopath on my hands. Of course, I do try to curb this habit of hers. For instance, Indy is also a serial ant killer: She squishes them with her fingers, stomps on the sidewalk. I've tried to drive home that ants feel pain and really don't want to die, to cultivate a sense of empathy by asking, "How would you like it if someone stepped on you?" This just makes her laugh and stomp more.

I remind myself that I was just like her as a kid: that I, too, held wild salamanders captive in a terrarium. And mine actually died -- not from manhandling or drowning, but from starvation, since I wasn't sure what to feed them, but still wasn't willing to set them free. Was that any less cruel?

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And besides, torturing ants and salamanders isn't as egregious as, say, accosting cats and dogs -- that's real animal cruelty, right? Then, of course, the day arrived recently when Indy took her tea party tray, removed the cups and teapot, and used it to smack our rat terrier Toby on his rump. She loves that dog ... so what was going on? I grabbed my daughter immediately, took away the tray, and said, "We DON'T. HIT. DOGS."

Indy hasn't hit him since. Still, though, the fact that she would if I hadn't yelled at her makes me worry. First ants, then salamanders, now dogs. Are her torturous ways slowly inching up the food chain? Will she lash out at her friends next or me?

My husband, as a kid, killed ants by frying them with a magnifying glass. He then moved onto birds, shooting at them with a BB gun. Then one day, at the age of 14, he watched a bird he'd shot die ... and suddenly a light bulb went on. He was filled with remorse, hung up his BB gun, and vowed to never hurt another animal again.

Maybe that's what my daughter needs to do too: Figure out for herself that what she's doing is wrong. I can scold 'til the cows come home, and while she might alter her behavior (in front of me, at least), perhaps she'll have to come to her own realization that causing pain in living creatures just isn't cool. In the meantime, I let her stomp down the sidewalk and pray that if reincarnation is real, she doesn't come back in her next life as an ant.

Is your kid cruel to animals?

by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
morgiefae
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

No, and they better never be.

torturing animals, can be a sign of the child being a budding psychopath.

mom2jessnky
by Platinum Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM
1 mom liked this

No never. My kids aren't sociopaths though.

cjsmom1
by Silver Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:27 PM
No and he'd be in major trouble if he did.

There are some neighborhood kids that poke, squirt water, and their things at my dogs when they walk by my fence and my dogs are out. If they but these kids they'd have to be out to sleep and I'd probably get sued. Instead of allowing my dogs to run free in my yard I can only let them out when someone can stay out with them
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:37 PM
8 moms liked this

No my kids aren't cruel to animals.

I find the whole premise of this article to be rather  disturbing. The author is really suggesting lets kids injure and kill animals until they figure out on their own that it's cruel.

It's  my job to teach my children right and wrong. I am not waiting for them to maybe figure it out on their own.

Maggie228
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Children need to be taught to respect animals, nature and the environment as well as other human beings.

anotherandree
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:48 PM
3 moms liked this
I love how the author says, "Others kids are cruel to animals." Um, yea, like Charles Manson and Timmothy McVey. Serial killers and psychopaths! Animal cruelty as children is the first psychological sign that something is seriously wrong and dangerous!

Quoting morgiefae:

No, and they better never be.

torturing animals, can be a sign of the child being a budding psychopath.

morgiefae
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:53 PM
2 moms liked this

This article makes me twitch... I had to retype that short post so many times, because it does not make me want to be PC.  *twitch twitch*  My kids have never been intentionally mean to animals, they love animals.  My youngest wants to be a vet... and heaven help a person they see being mean to an animal, kid or adult.

Quoting anotherandree: I love how the author says, "Others kids are cruel to animals." Um, yea, like Charles Manson and Timmothy McVey. Serial killers and psychopaths! Animal cruelty as children is the first psychological sign that something is seriously wrong and dangerous!
Quoting morgiefae:

No, and they better never be.

torturing animals, can be a sign of the child being a budding psychopath.


aetrom
by Gold Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM
The meanest thing my kid has ever done was help the kitten go swimming. Oops. Lots of love and apologies followed.

Yes the op should be correcting and if her child still does it keep her away from animals until she is more mature.
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steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM
2 moms liked this

I have no words, and you all know how rare that is.

diaperstodating
by Queen25Princes on Jul. 30, 2014 at 5:27 PM


Quoting morgiefae:

No, and they better never be.

torturing animals, can be a sign of the child being a budding psychopath.


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