« Bad is Not the New Good, Especially When It Comes to Our Kids | Main | At Least I Know That NOW Won't Be Awarding Me Feminist Mother of the Year »

March 07, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rawre to see a nice blog like tthis one nowadays.

I wanted to thank yyou for this fantastic read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

Itts like you read mmy mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that youu could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

Hi, its pleasant post concerning media print, wwe alll know media is a fantastic source of data.

Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will often come back down the road. Iwant to encourage you continuee your great job, have a nice day!

Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blpg with my zynga group? There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

Woah! I'm really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It's simple, yet effective. A lot of times it's challenging to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Safari. Exceptional Blog!


I explained it to my daughter as when you die you go away and never come back! It was the only way I could explain it!


At my house, die is delete and hate is don't like. I'm a word manipulator. My kids know they have to do it just to please me, so it's really pointless. I also skip ahead on DVDs.

I went to my first funeral when I was five. A catholic service for my great grandmother (open casket). I had many bad dreams, but was able to handle the death of my grandparents one by one over the years. Our dog died recently. My 6 and 4 yr old wanted to know wher Walter was, and I panicked!! He's in doggie heaven I said. They were ok with that...until my son said "when are you going to go get Walter?" "Well I can't honey, he's in heaven" "But you took him there...right?? So why can't you go get him?? We are still gently dealing with this one.

When she was very little, anything she asked, I kept it very short and...little. As she gets older (and sometimes the questions are repeats) I tell her a little tiny bit more. Enough to let her know what's up. Not enough to blow her mind, though sometimes it just does that. I do remember her going throught the, "I don't wanna die. I don't want you to die. I'm afraid of dying thing." I simply (and gently with hugs) said, "It happens to every single person. Most likely it won't happen to you soon. But you never know when it will happen, so make it the best life you can."

Good for you for willing to be being honest with her. I know a sad little boy who thinks he's grandfather is still "sicky." In reality, he passed away several years ago. Can you imagine not telling your child a thing like that? I know I plan on being honest, especially when it comes to conversations like death and dying. I don't see what good it does to hide these things from our kids.

On a brighter (?) note, I read an article this past weekend about how some well-known wedding gown designer has partnered with Disney to make a line of gowns that are modeled after several Disney princesses including Ariel, Belle, Snow White...and I can't remember any more.

I really dislike discussing death with my children, granted I've had to because of my gparents passing away. I still don't like reading about it in storybooks or in movies. You know Bambi 2 starts off with the death scene? I had no clue and bought it for my (then) 2 1/2 year old and she came screaming out of the room. I had to rewind to see why she was so scared.

Oh I commented on the review section, that product for pants sounds amazing.

this is a subject I worry about, too, but for me, it's more a matter of "when" than of whether I can manage the words. I figure I'll say whatever comes into my head, and I'll be as sincere and honest as I know how to be, but I'm just shaken to my core over whether it'll be too soon and I'll scare the crap outta my kid.

argh. parenting. timing. two things that are not my forte.

my parents were not fast forward parents, and I went to funerals as soon as I was old enough to sit quietly. I am just as uncomfortable with death as anyone else. My son is almost 4 and when one of his fish dies, I tell him it's hiding and go replace it. I know it sounds awful, but I feel like being exposed so early has done just the same thing as fastforwarding. We have talked about death a little, and next time we lose a fish, I'll tell him. I think we must approach it in our own time, when our kids start to ask questions, etc. He is very sensitive, he cries when I read "the mountain that loved a bird".

I've come to believe that the younger they are for the difficult talks (death, sex...) the easier the conversations are for me. We had a 9 yo friend die when my son was 4yo and his mother talked at the memorial service about "lifetimes":

Everyone has a different lifetime. A flower that is picked will live another day. A butterfly lives for about a week. Dogs live for about ten years. People can live to be very very old (toss in a number like 100 if they understand numbers yet), but sometimes plants, animals or people are finished with their lifetimes earlier. Feel free to say that God chooses how long our lifetimes will be, if you believe that.

Our friend A.J. was a special person who taught everyone a lot about living, and now he's teaching us about dying. We're sad, but we know he wouldn't want us to quit playing or cry all the time just because he's gone. He would want us to remember him and all the fun things about him even though we know he can't ever do those things again. Everyone will die sometimes, but we hope it won't be for a long, long time.

I moved from that into a talk about all the things I want to do while I'm alive and encouraged him to think about his future before ending the conversation. It comes up often, but we talk about it again as needed. I admitted that I don't know what happens after we die, but that I'd like to believe we all become angels! I suggested it in a fun, almost silly way, but since then we've talked about what other people believe. At 5 yo now, he currently believes in reincarnation. That'll do.

I still don't know exactly how to approach death. We've told our son that when a person dies it means their body has stopped working. But that their personality or soul goes to Heaven. Course do I know there's a heaven? No, not for sure. So I honestly feel very uncomfortable with the subject.

Last weekend an episode of Charlie and Lola came on about their mouse dying...I was crawling in my skin. I was watching BubTar for signs of it being too sad...and he blinked a few times, prompting me to say "Uhhh...I think that KayTar doesn't like this one...do you think we should change it?" And he said "Yes." and I breathed a great sigh of relief. I don't know why it made me so uncomfortable, but it did.

This is a tough topic. My very first blog entry was all about it.


Try...Lots of hugs and even level voice tones...encouragement of safety and admitting you don't have all the answers. Good Luck!

I agree with your sentiment Susan, however, I think there are better examples -- the notion that other people kill others because they are different is a bit rough -- for a 2-year-old, but even for older kids as well.

I wonder if there isn't a gentler way to approach that topic -- certainly an important one.

I hear you, but I think that the whole idea of the villagers setting out to Kill The Beast is actually a great opportunity to drive a point home -- the villagers are scared of the Beast because he's different. They are acting out of their fear of what's different, instead of taking the time and getting to know him, the way Belle is.

Think about it on a bigger scale. How many acts of violence have been committed because the person on the receiving end is different?

It's a good time to reinforce that different is good, and that our world would be quite boring and colorless if we were all the same.

Why is Boots smiling? Ever notice he has a condom on his tail?

This is such a scary topic for me also. My daughter is 3 and when her pet rabbits were killed while we were away visiting family, I told her they had escaped and went to live with Bambi. Man did she hate Bambi. When one of her fish died recently at first I planned to hide it but decided to tell her. She didn't completely understand but eventually understood that Nemo wasn't coming back.

I have decided to play it by ear. I will not hide everything from her but will protect her from things that I feel she cannot fully comprehend.

I'm not sure about the real fairy tales -- ala Brother's Grimm. It's one thing to have the dad die, a whole other when the mean sisters are cutting off their toes to get them to fit into the glass slipper.

We decided that we would let our kids get used to the reality that everyone and everything that's living will die someday. We figured that the younger they were when we taught them this the better becuase it would just be information at that point and inform their opinion of the world more realistically than if we shielded them from it. In our efforts to avoid the typical visceral insulation of our culture, we've allowed them to be present when chickens are butchered, or goats, we've taken them to funeral and let them look in the coffin. Instead of being traumatized they've been fine with it accepting it as normal...wait, it is.

We had a conversation for a while after my great grandmother passed that went like this.
"mommy, I don't want you to die."
"I understand why honey but someday I will die too, just like you will."
"But I don't want you to."
"Well I don't think I'm going to die any time soon. I probably won't die until you are all grown up and have your own family and don't need me anymore."
"Oh, okay, then I will take care of my sister."

FOr a while it was funny because he thought I'd die as soon as he grew up, until we pointed out that his grandparents are still around even though we are grown up.

I think I skipped over sex a lot longer than I skipped over death, just because I didn't think they really need to understand the actual mechanics of things at age three. BUt then another baby came and questions were asked and now they know that too.

Shit, I don't believe in heaven, but damn your version of "heaven" in Arizona looks like the perfect place to pretend that you're dead--or, I mean, have gone for respite after plastic surgery.

In regards to sexy scenes, I just watched all of it. My parents had me watching Dirty Dancing when it came out on video. I saw every movie all my friends weren't allowed to see. And, I really don't think I understood at all what was going on--it was uncomfortable for me to watch, but I don't think it corrupted me at all. My best friend's mother didn't allow her and her three siblings to have chocolate--so, now they are all closet gorgers with chocolate. Who knows what's best, but I think the proof's in the pudding--you still saw it anyway with the rewind.

AH, the Disnification of our world.
Historically (and in other cultures) children's stories were meant to prepare children for life (for things like death and meeting evil people). Hence the real versions of, oh, say the Little Mermaid where she dies, etc. But now it seems like we only want to amuse our children. And do we even consider how that will impact their adult lives: I don't know, a generation "me" with no concepts of social responsibility or reality? (that's harsh, but you have to consider the implications, just like not teaching kids about sex until it's too late)

I saw my grandfather die when I was four. I didn't want to go to the funeral, but that choice was explained to me and left up to me. Since then, I've known a lot of people who died (my mother worked in a nursing home and I volunteered there from a young age). I'm pretty much OK with death, moreso than most people my age. Since death isn't something that you can sheild your child from wouldn't you rather have started easing her into it and making her comfortable with it before she is confronted with it (you never know, your FIL could die tomorrow).

Death is such a human reality: we're all going to face it. What's fascinating is the way some people try to deny it or avoid it or ignore it. That's not particularly healthy. If you know life is impermanent, you live it better (in my experience).

If anything, revert to the REAL fairy tales (Chicken Little doesn't share the bread, Ariel sacrifices her life for love and because she made bad choices for love, the gingerbread man gets eaten by the crocodile). These are valuable lessons for children. It's only our culture's incessant coddling mentality that makes them "unable" to "deal" with them. You want Q to be a strong person, that's why you nixed the "happily ever after" nonsense, right?

When my kids were younger, I was often vague about death, and dying. When our family pet died, we said he was going to a better place, a place where he would be happy, but a place we couldn't visit.

And then I never gave it much more thought.

Until their brother died. And they wanted to know how he died, why he died and where he was. What would happen to him now. Did this mean they were going to die.

It was a tough conversation. My only advice, use language easily understood and keep it simple until she gets older.

And pray no one she loves passes away while she is young.

My 4-y/o dd is obsessed with death and dying. She asks so many questions. And she doesn't know anyone personally who has died. She is very afraid of it, it is hard to discuss, but I juts try to emphasize that she doesn't need to be afraid. Ugh. Tough stuff.

I think about this a lot. Not least because the day will come, while WB is still in her childhood or youth, that her cousin will die. As she grows up, the fact of his inevitable death will have to be addressed.

In our home, however, the first point of address will likely be through the death of a pet. That's how it was for me, as a child.

My mom did the same thing. She fast forwarded through everything from sex scenes to kissing to people getting shot. She even fast forwarded through the part when Bambi's mother gets killed.

And yeah, when I got older, and she wasn't home, I re-watched many movies like Meet Joe Black.

She would always fast forward too far and we'd miss half the movie and have no idea what was going on, just because she didn't want to have the sex talk with me.

Needless to say, my mom never had the sex talk with me. The one time I dared to ask a question, she told me I didn't need to know until I got married and she would tell me when she went with me on my honeymoon.

Please don't do that to your little girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As for death, my mom was never afraid to talk about that. She talked about "dying and going to heaven" ALL THE TIME. It's like her goal in life or something... She used to talk about how much she couldn't wait to get to heaven and how much better things would be there.

When you are ready to deal with it, I'm sure she'll be ready. And who knows, maybe she'll start asking about death and that will make you ready to talk about it. You never know. Either way, I know you'll figure out just what to say when the moment comes because I can see that you're a great mom and you are doing an awesome job at raising your kids.

My grandfather died when my daughter was four. Since then, and she's six now, we've had frequent conversations about death and dying. At first it was daily, she had so many questions. Partly because she wasn't able to grasp the permanent aspect. Now, it comes up every now and then. And honestly, I hope she continues to ask all the hard (for me) questions, because talking is so much better than not.

oh my, my parents totally TAPED OVER the top gun sex scene with a He-Man commercial. My friends still tease me about it.

We have had to euthanize our cat and one of our dogs in the last three weeks so I've had to do some talking about death with my 23 month old son. I read all the advice in the 'net and told him the truth as simply as possible. He's not quite getting it yet, but over time he will. I also talked to his day care educators so the message he is getting is consistent. Fortunately he is still easily distracted. He asks a question, gets an answer, and moves on to something else. Not sure what we would do if he were at the "why?" stage.

My parents didn't fast forward, per se, but my mother did require us to cover our eyes during sex scenes. And when she taped movies from TV, she would pause the recording until the couple had finished their romp in the sack.

Imagine my surprise being twenty-two years old and discovering the sex scene in The Terminator and Lost Boys for the first time. (Apparently violence wasn't a problem.)

My MIL passed away on my daughter's due date. Grace will never meet Grandma Katie but we talk about her all the time. Our cat died last summer and Grace was there for the backyard burial with me and her Dad. We simply told her that the cat was very tired and went to play with Grandma Katie in heaven. And that was that.

To a 3 year old, Heaven is just another place people go to. She knows that she cant go visit them but we tell her all the time that she can talk to them in her prayers at night. For now, that seems to be okay.

I have no idea what I will tell her when she wants to know why people die and all the details surrouinding all of it. All I can tell you is to follow Q's lead. She will ask questions when she wants/needs to know something.

Preggos are NOT the only one's who need this product. Most of the teenage girls I know could use this product. I'm sick of seeing ass crack! I should print your moms add and hand this out to every person that shows crack! :-)

Growing up, my family never spoke of death. It was always kept a secret from us kids. But death happens and I'd rather my daughter grow up with a healthy respect for death than an unnecessary or irrational fear of it. But the words "death" or "died" don't slip off the tongue easily, like when I'm trying to explain to Chicky why she never sees her Grammy but instead just sees lots of pictures of her.

Anywhooo, my point is... well, I don't have a point. It does help if you believe in an afterlife or a heaven. It helps me, anyway.

This is such a thoughtful post on an interesting topic. My mind is the most truth as is practical and developmentally appropriate is best. I do think it's an important parental milestone, probably...

All leading up to mother of all uncomfortable discussions: 'THE TALK'

Q's pretty sharp. I don't know how much time you have left...lmao.

She will come to you with all of her questions of this world. It is completely up to you when the right time will be. You seem to have a very smart daughter and you seem like a great parent. So, you will know when the time is right.

I think you should tell her the truth about what you believe, even if that's "I don't know" or "some people think X, other people think Y."

If you can, you probably want to try to end on a reassuring note, that you expect to be right here for a very, very long time, until your daughter is all grown up and maybe even *her* daughter is all grown up.

FWIW, I also believe in bringing children to funerals. Maybe not toddlers, as they may not be able to sit still for long enough, but school aged children. How else will they learn how to behave and what our grieving rituals are? If it all gets fast forwarded over, they will make up their own answers and ideas and behaviors...which we may find even more uncomfortable.

Good luck!

"The Lion King" - I swear that's where most kids get their first exposure to death these days. Unless the parents are real sadists and pop in an old video of "Bambi".

I'm very much in favor of saying the words and waiting for the questions. And then attempting to give a child-sized, yet truthful, explanation.

For our part, Tacy has asked a lot of questions about my late maternal grandfather, and while she usually is quite objective about the fact that he got old, his body stopped working, and he died, sometimes she realizes that she will never meet him and starts to cry. All healthy reactions, I'd say.

The comments to this entry are closed.