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Topic: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?

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TyphonInc

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OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« on: July 30, 2019, 07:51:32 PM »
Oh boy. Two parts: I have a 17 year old Husky that now has Cancer and the Vet recommended we just give pain meds due to advanced age. This one will be tough for me and the family.

Two weeks ago I went hiking with the girls they discovered a 3 inch Giant American Millipede, fell in love and named her Milli. We built a habitat for her, and did all kinds of research on Millipedes. This morning I picked up the spray bottle to moisten the habitat, and grabbed my wife's Essential Lemon oil instead. Two sprays into the moistening Milli seized up, curled into a defensive ball, and they ceased to be.

My girls have been crying for for over an hour now, we did an impromptu funeral. I told them it's ok to be sad and cry, but I am concerned with the amount of sadness they have been showing. Like it's more than they did for passing grandparents. And really concerned with how they are going to handle the dog. Anyone have thoughts or suggestions? Ice Cream didn't help. Really Ice Cream didn't help.  

Anonymous Coward

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 07:59:50 PM »
Oh man. I'm so sorry about this. That's awful news. I've never had kids but anticipate that when the other parents chime in the idea that rings the most will be how honesty is the best policy and, sadly, sometimes honesty is excrutiating. And with honesty being such a valuable lesson and loss being so woven into our lives, playing it straight just feels right. That and to be delicate to the max. So, so sorry again.

MarqHusker

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 08:55:03 PM »
While my wife and I have an agreed on pet ban during our marriage,  I did have a couple yellow canaries as a kid at different times.  My Mom always told us that animals and birds are fragile and really conditioned us to prepare for am eventual and likely sudden death.  It wasn't a doom and gloom scenario but it did help.

That doesn't help your situation but it may provide you a chance to begin to celebrate the life of your husky while the dog is with you.  To grasp that pets typically don't live as long as grandparents or most other people.   

Kids sure do get invested though, deeply, even with non living things. 

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 10:19:05 PM »
It can just be a science lesson - every living thing will die, and that's okay, because it's natural.  If nothing ever died, the world would be too full of dogs or centipedes and/or whatever else.

If they're young, you can simply go into animals having a life cycle like people - a baby, a child, then it grows up and becomes an adult, then it gets old.  

Up to you how in-depth you go with offspring and that's how living things sort of live on and genes and such.  

And yes, you'll die and they'll die and grandma will die, but not yet and/or not for a long time.
“The Swamp is where Gators live.  We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous." - Steve Spurrier

CWSooner

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2019, 11:15:06 PM »
Tell 'em about the Rainbow Bridge.
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betarhoalphadelta

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2019, 11:15:27 PM »
Tell them about the fundamental existential pointlessness of life and how not a damn thing matters and we're all just going to end up the same way we started: random unconnected atoms. 

FearlessF

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 11:21:57 PM »
he said "girls"

science and fundamental existence???

not gonna work
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MarqHusker

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2019, 11:35:56 PM »
Yeah, girls are wired....differently.  My favorite all-time meltdown by one of my kids (and that's a tough top 5 to crack), ok #2, is when my youngest (now 7) was 3 or 4, and we were in Milwaukee getting frozen custard, and it was a hot day, and she could not keep up, and the vanilla was melting, and she's licking, and trying to stop it from dripping.  In her mind, she was forever losing this one scoop/cone of vanilla.  It was quite a spectacle, and there was nothing a human being could do to mitigate that situation, other than to clean up the picnic table and bench and just laugh to yourself.  Other older kids looking on in disbelief, etc.   You think that girl could handle a goldfish?

I wish you the best (with your husky and family).   Unlike the custard incident, you will no doubt be empathetic, and your ability to demonstrate that you too are sad, or hurt by the situation, shows the child that you too are vulnerable and that it is ok to have those feelings, it is normal, and appropriate, but that it isn't the only way you feel about the situation.

utee94

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2019, 11:48:48 PM »
Our cats died when our kids were young, 2 and 4.  We were just honest, talked about circle of life, and that because both of them had been suffering from sickness and old age, they were better off moving on to kitty heaven. They were very sad, and to this day 7 years later mention those cats, but they were able to move on.

Kids are surprisingly reslient.  Your fear for them and need to protect them from the pain, is way worse than the pain they're feeling, I promise you.  They'll bounce back.

Also, RIP Milli.

msufan23

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2019, 02:34:46 AM »
My son is 8 now and I think for us we have a Grandma that has a farm and we help raise animals that we send to the butcher and and eat. So pretty much all the kids in our family have names pigs/cows helped raise them/fed them when spending the night etc and then have gotten the meat back and know where its from. Its helped give a good understanding of pets/animals/life 

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2019, 03:03:18 AM »
Please do not tell a kid there's a "kitty heaven".  There's no need for that BS.
“The Swamp is where Gators live.  We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous." - Steve Spurrier

NorthernOhioBuckeye

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2019, 07:04:02 AM »
Please do not tell a kid there's a "kitty heaven".  There's no need for that BS.
Please, don't insult people's beliefs that may differ from yours. There is no call for that. 

Cincydawg

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2019, 08:30:58 AM »
It's probably wise not to give definitive advice to other parents with other children on such a topic, though one can state what one did himself in the past.

I was always upfront on such things.  My kids seemed to be resilient, they forgot about it in a day or so apparently.  I was not very touchy feely I suppose.

Not having a wife was at times a great benefit, especially THAT wife.

betarhoalphadelta

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Re: OT - Death of a Pet & How to Tell Young Kids?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2019, 10:11:39 AM »
Please do not tell a kid there's a "kitty heaven".  There's no need for that BS.
Please, don't insult people's beliefs that may differ from yours. There is no call for that.
You misunderstand OAM. There's no kitty heaven because cats are assholes. 

There is kitty hell. AKA doggy heaven. 

 

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