or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Kids killing bugs-rite of passage or not?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kids killing bugs-rite of passage or not? - Page 2

post #21 of 45
I think for some people they just don't think that way about bugs. They don't associate feelings with them. My DH grew up tying katydids (not sure what their real name is) to his bike and racing as fast as he could until they no longer flew (dead), then he cut the string and tied a new one on. I was horrified when I heard this but apparently, his mom had taught him it and it was actually a pretty treasured childhood memory for him.

As an adult, he rarely kills a bug, usually preferring to take them outside.
post #22 of 45
I don't find killing other beings acceptable at all. (Well, self-defense and survival aside). I teach DS to watch and interact with bugs without killing them. He knows to stay away from bees and other harmful insects as well.

He has a tarantula in his bedroom and I'm the person that will catch a bee, fly, or spider to put it outside instead of squashing it. We're big fans of bugs around here
post #23 of 45
We are respectful of bugs in our home and DS is very sensitive towards bugs. Just yesterday I had a full cart of groceries and DS spotted a cricket in the store. We had to catch it and take it all the way outside so no one would step on him. It was raining, I'm very pregnant, but it was important to DS to help this bug.

I do not think it is an acceptable rite of passage to kill anything for fun or shock or whatever. It is okay to protect yourself and spray the poisonous spider in the garage, or do something about the wasps nest growing under the porch. It is normal to not want your family to get sick or injured. But pulling a bug apart for kicks is disgusting.
post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks all.

We get spiders in the bath tub and I rinse them down the drain, and I will kill flies and cockroaches inside the house too.

DS was upset because the other 8 y.o pulled the bug apart for no reason, other than it was there.

StormBride, 'acceptable'--I guess I mean is it normal at that age?
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
I guess I mean is it normal at that age?
I think it's within the realm of normal, yes. I mean, I don't think it's necessarily a sign of sociopathy or anything for an 8yo to kill a bug. I killed bugs when I was a kid (maybe up to age 5 or 6), and yet simultaneously was (and am) very caring, kind, empathetic, etc. -- I don't really know why there was such a disconnect when it came to bugs.

I teach my own kids to be gentle with all living creatures, including bugs, but I remember conducting experiments with bugs -- I would bury beetles with dirt over and over to see how many times it took before they wouldn't dig themselves out. That makes me sad to think about now, but at the time it really was just innocent curiosity and there was no evil plotting behind it, or really any thought about the fact that when they didn't dig themselves out it meant they were dead.
post #26 of 45
I think it depends on how you view life. I know a lot of families ( at least in our neighborhood) don't really care about bugs and will squash and kill them in front of their kids. We are teaching dd that all life deserves respect and that if something is not outwardly hurting you, you leave it alone. I've asked other people to refrain from killing bugs in front of dd, but as far as what people do with their own kids I leave it alone. I personally don't understand taking joy in killing things. I think it is one thing to be very little and not understand what happens when you step on an ant, but a whole other thing to be older and pulling a bug apart for fun.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
I used to pull the legs of of daddy long legs. I am not a sociopath. Some people just don't care about bugs and don't mind killing them. Then add 8 year old boy in the mix and the gross out factor for pulling apart a bug with your own hands is very high. and when your 8 gross and cool really go hand and hand. The boys laugh, the girls squeal. Most people probably don't think anything of killing a bug so why would they care about picking it apart leg by leg?.
I guess I don't see the big deal.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Most people probably don't think anything of killing a bug so why would they care about picking it apart leg by leg?.

Killing something, squashing it, is a pretty quick death.

Pulling apart something leg by leg = torture.

It makes me nauseous to think about. Especially the story about mom teaching the son to tie katydids to the bike.
post #29 of 45
I'm with lilyka. I can't bring myself to care about insects, particularly if they're in my house. While I don't want to watch the kid disassemble a bug, I squish them when they're indoors and don't mind if my children do the same.
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
StormBride, 'acceptable'--I guess I mean is it normal at that age?

Then, I'd say "yes". I've certainly known children (dd1, for example) who would never kill a bug. But, lots and lots of children do. Most of the kids I've known had probably outgrown it by about age 10, but I think there were still quite a few doing it at 8 when I was a kid. As I said, they've grown up to be pretty normal people, with a wide variety of levels of empathy, but nobody who is totally lacking in it. (And, honestly, I think ds2 tends to be somewhat more empathetic than dd1, overall. But, dd1 wouldn't even consider hurting a bug, and is horrified that some of our neighbours kill snails - as garden pests - while ds2 is the type who will gleefully tromp all over the bugs. So...I don't know why there's a disconnect, either, but there definitely seems to be one.)


Edited by Storm Bride - 12/26/11 at 2:51pm
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I'm with lilyka. I can't bring myself to care about insects...
This is a question out of total ignorance and curiosity: how come?

I was brought up with the whole karmic thing, but I'm taking that out of the equation for obvious reasons (not want to start a religious/spiritual discussion) but...my other reasoning is that animals...all animals, bugs included...have nervous systems and feel pain. Death to an insect would likely hurt as much as death to a human...and for pleasure rather than use? (ie. food, clothing, protection from bites and poison) I can't wrap my head around it...can you shed some light? Is it a learned thing (ie. my mom does it so I'm desensitized kind of thing..)
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
This is a question out of total ignorance and curiosity: how come?

I was brought up with the whole karmic thing, but I'm taking that out of the equation for obvious reasons (not want to start a religious/spiritual discussion) but...my other reasoning is that animals...all animals, bugs included...have nervous systems and feel pain. Death to an insect would likely hurt as much as death to a human...and for pleasure rather than use? (ie. food, clothing, protection from bites and poison) I can't wrap my head around it...can you shed some light? Is it a learned thing (ie. my mom does it so I'm desensitized kind of thing..)
My parents always killed bugs if they were in the house. So it was just *normal*, just what we did. I do remember once crying because they killed a cricket... and also going through phases where I insisted we trap the bugs in a cup & bring them outside. I've always had a lot of conflicting feelings on killing bugs inside your home (I don't think it's OK to kill them outside unless they're biting you). I have had a colony of ants, for example, set up shop on my bathroom floor, and a fruit-fly infestation near our compost bucket, and dozens of moths & flies make their way into our bedroom at once -- capturing & releasing that many bugs just was beyond what I was willing to do. (Now why we get so many bugs, I don't know!!) I think in some ways, killing bugs in the house IS about protection, even if they aren't actually biting you or anything. For my family's health & safety, we can't just have bugs overrun our house. I *could* catch & release them, but I have my hands full as it is, for me that's just not realistic. So... that's my story. For me it's not that I don't care about bugs, but more that I don't want bugs in my house & I don't care about them ENOUGH to go through that much trouble.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
but...my other reasoning is that animals...all animals, bugs included...have nervous systems and feel pain. Death to an insect would likely hurt as much as death to a human...
Actually, insects' nervous systems are very different from ours, and I think it's unlikely that they feel pain or suffer in any way. If an insect is injured, it doesn't try to protect or avoid using the injured part the way a mammal would. It certainly doesn't show signs of suffering due to its injury. (If you want more in-depth discussion of the subject, including some opposing views, Google "do insects feel pain.")
post #34 of 45
I wouldn't be ok with my kids doing it.
post #35 of 45
Bugs inside our house = OK to quickly kill, unless it's a bug we can easily and safely capture and release outside.

Bugs outside = off limits to touch, it's their house and we leave them be and look only.
post #36 of 45
I catch big bugs/mice in our house and let them go and I've been a vegetarian for 20 years due to my love of animals.

The tricky part is there are some bugs in the house that you just can't easily catch. Fruit flies are one that I do swat at, especially if they are zipping past our food while eating. And what do you do about mosquitos who are biting you? It's hard not to slap your itching skin while under attach.

Spiders, crickets, beetles, moths, etc... I do catch and release.

I do rememember killing bugs as a child and now that I have a DS of my own, I plan to teach him a respect for all living things, though again, there are varying degrees of that due to necessity I think.
post #37 of 45

mmmm....quick kill in the house, I have no problem with.  And if my kid would rather stomp the invading ants, I'll leave him to it.  He's good at it.  Faster than me. lol.gif

Anything that messes with our food is liable to face the consequences.

 

Outside, we leave bugs alone.  And I do not allow torture, physical pulling apart of critters, and that kind of stuff. I once killed a slug with salt, and still feel horrible about it.  I regretted it the moment I did so, because it was pure curiosity and totally unnecessary.

post #38 of 45

I've been told that I am a tree hugger, but I do not support PETA. They strike me as extremists, and I do not see the world so black and white. However, I still don't believe in killing other living creatures if it's avoidable, and I also avoid most animal products. I also believe that there are times that killing another creature may be necessary. If hares are destroying your crops, clearly something has to be done. I don't believe a family must starve so that other creatures might live. I may very well be a tree hugger, but that does not mean that I'm brainwashed, nor does it mean that I am judgmental. I try my best to do what I feel is right, and I lead my children the same way. I do not expect everyone to have the same views as me, and I will not condemn someone (or insist they've been brainwashed by an extremist organization) if their views differ from my own.

 

post #39 of 45

 

When I was a child we lived on several acres outside of town.  We all had bb guns and enjoyed shooting them.  The one thing my mother was clear about was we were NEVER to shoot an animal.  We had no right to take their lives for our enjoyment.  Heck, one of my brother's shot another brother (in the stomach) and that was reacted to with less anger than attacking an innocent animal.

 

I have no problem with people who choose to hunt animals for their fur and/or meat.  I have a problem with people who take lives simply because they can.  Who have no concept that animals have existences outside of their uses to humans.

 

And you know what, I salted slugs as a kid. We had them all over the place and that was just how we got rid of them.  My dad put out gopher traps and killed gophers/moles all the time.  It was gross to me, but not wrong (as an adult, I've never had a gopher or mole to deal with and am actually interested if I would be bothered by the mounds *in my yard* or if I would just figure it's their home--- I know I don't try to stop rabbits from eating my plants).  I never did any other animal/bug/bird killing (though I also licked a slug once, lol) but I'm certainly not proud of salting the slugs I did.  When you know better, you do better.  And I am raising my children to have respect for life and realize that other creatures have the right to existence as well.

 


Edited by TiredX2 - 12/28/11 at 11:41am
post #40 of 45

I also wanted to add: for the OP.  I think that many otherwise normal, compassionate, caring individuals go through a time period where they harass or kill "animals."  It is not necessarily a problem (though, I think if you're killing, especially if it includes torture or secrecy (so hunting wouldn't fall into this category) mammals you should consider that there may be a problem. 

 

I just don't think that torturing or killing animals is a *necessary* developmental step.  You can definately discourage your children away from animal abuse from a young age and it is fairly easy for them to pick up that belief like any other you would teach them.  Neither of my kids have ever hurt an animal that I know of--- though DS has chased a few birds (I'm fine with chasing birds *away* if they are bothering you--- trying to steal  your food, pecking at your things, but some kids throw rocks and just bother the heck out of them which I'm not okay with).

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Kids killing bugs-rite of passage or not?