Yeah, you told him the truth. We were doing yard work when my son was 3 or 4 and a little dead bird fell out of a bush. It was the first time death had come up and I just explained that the poor birdy died. We buried it in our back alley, said a few nice words and that was that. He would continue to ask me occasionally when the bird was going to get up. The concept of death being forever was too abstract and that was okay. I just told him the bird wasn't getting up because he had died. He's almost 6 now and still doesn't really understand. Thankfully no one close to us (or pets) have died so he still doesn't grasp the finality of it all. My mom has an old dog though so I'm sure we'll go thru it soon. It's always best to be honest but just don't over explain. Answer any questions he may have but keep it simple.
Quoting Ktina11:I am usually up front with my boys (5, 4, and nearly 3). But we have had to explain death since they were little since their older sister died as an infant. They think everything goes to heaven.
I don't think it's too young. I've had to talk to my kids about death since my oldest was about 2 and my youngest I think was around 1.5 when she first encountered it (they're 4 and 2.5 now). They had a pet die and one of their grandpas died and a great-grandpa died and then I had two miscarriages before becoming pregnant with their brother. They actually understand it a lot better than I expected they would even when they were younger.
I think what you did was perfect. Great introduction. Better than than a loved one, right?
It's apart of life and the way you did it was perfect. We lost our dog last January and my youngest who is six will tell people we had a dog his name is archie and he is dead. I think it's better than making up a story.
I have been talking about it with my 3 & 4 year old for about 10 months now. I lost both of my grandfathers in 2 months earlier this year--so we had to explain about the wake, funeral, etc.
I would have said it was dead too.
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