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My 3 year old is freaking me out - Page 2

post #21 of 29
My older child discovered the concept of death pretty young and was really hung up on it. She had nightmares and was really worried about her dying, or me dying, and it was a real source of anxiety for her. The book that she liked the best was called something like Freddie the Leaf. But to a large extent, we just talked about it and I let her get it out. I think it's something people often do have anxiety about and sometimes the best way to deal with that is to be able to talk about it and get the fears out in the open.

I've also said that usually people die when they're really really old as a way to try to relax her, but of course she knows that isn't always the case. And I am an anxious person as well (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree) so I do have my own issues of anxiety around death. Really I just try to shield her from my anxiety and talk like it isn't that big of a deal, and then if I need to talk I talk to my husband about it.

I don't have good answers but that's what experience I have.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

That's not what I said/ meant.  I've had my kids dwell on things -- like torturing bugs -- that they need to just stop talking about.  I'm saying if their question has already been answered, it is OK to guide about what some people are uncomfortable talking about in casual conversation. 

But the child is asking mom, not making it part of a casual conversation, unless I missed something.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


But the child is asking mom, not making it part of a casual conversation, unless I missed something.

 

Yes, although today she was talking about it with my mother, too, about HER mother (who died last August - which is what started all of this in death talk in the first place).  I actually DO feel a little weird about her having these conversations with my mom, because she's still very sensitive about my grandmother's death.  Sensitive, in a not very healthy way.  I'm not sure if it's cathartic or upsetting for my mother to talk about this with DD.  So, I think maybe I DO need to start giving DD the idea that talking about death is a serious topic that can be upsetting for people to talk about.  Unfortunately, I feel like this exemption does not apply to me.  As her mother, I see myself as the one who's supposed to be answering these questions.  I could see myself diverting the questions to a more appropriate time ("I'd love to talk about this when we get home"...), but I think I have to talk about it eventually.  She's not just asking the same questions over and over again.  It's like there's always a new angle...

post #24 of 29

i think mamazee that is the nature of the concept of death. 

 

the grieving. we have to give our children the space to do that. its almost something they have to go through to process the many layers of death. dd started from 2 to about 7. at 9 she discovered suicide. we dont really talk about death. she helped her gparents die between teh ages of 4 and 5. really profound experience for her as she was actively involved in every step of the process. so much so that every time she hears a fire truck or ambulance go by she offers a silent prayer that all are ok (she saw her gpa being taken in the ambulance). it is her coping mechanism. 

 

we just should not equate sickness with death for very young ones. that is something we all have to be careful about. some people fall sick and die. yes they can but all the people who die were not sick. important difference - to be answered ONLY if asked. not offered. 

 

all i can say is i am sooo grateful we had that talk of death when we did. it is too painful for her to talk about any death these days including the morality of the death penalty. 

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

 

Yes, although today she was talking about it with my mother, too, about HER mother (who died last August - which is what started all of this in death talk in the first place).  I actually DO feel a little weird about her having these conversations with my mom, because she's still very sensitive about my grandmother's death.  Sensitive, in a not very healthy way.  I'm not sure if it's cathartic or upsetting for my mother to talk about this with DD.  So, I think maybe I DO need to start giving DD the idea that talking about death is a serious topic that can be upsetting for people to talk about.  

 

Have you asked your Mom how she feels about your daughter asking her these questions? That's where I'd start. 

 

And I agree - a child should feel comfortable asking a parent anything, no matter the subject. 

post #26 of 29

ooh newmama i think we cross posted so i didnt see your new reply.

 

first consider yourself incredibly lucky that your dd finds it comfortable enough to talk to gma about a topic such as this. 

 

i think its very healthy for her to see how your mom copes with the answers. seeing different angles is a great thing for kids to have. 

 

yeah i'd too like to know how your mom feels about these questions. like you said it could go either way. kids have the ability to go right to the crux of the issue. though i am sure if your mom was seriously perturbed she'd say something to you. 

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

It is never the right thing to shut down a conversation with a child. What goes unanswered will fester, and who knows how it will next appear -- and it *will* appear again. That you can count on.

I totally think y'all are misunderstanding what the pp was trying to say.  You don't have to shut it down, but you can convey that the conversation makes you feel xyz(sad, scared, upset, afraid) and that sometimes people don't like to talk about things that make them feel that way.  I wouldn't ever leave it like that, I would certainly always try to answer my kiddos questions, but I understand what the pp was trying to say, I think.

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

 

Yes, although today she was talking about it with my mother, too, about HER mother (who died last August - which is what started all of this in death talk in the first place).  I actually DO feel a little weird about her having these conversations with my mom, because she's still very sensitive about my grandmother's death.  Sensitive, in a not very healthy way.  I'm not sure if it's cathartic or upsetting for my mother to talk about this with DD.  So, I think maybe I DO need to start giving DD the idea that talking about death is a serious topic that can be upsetting for people to talk about.  Unfortunately, I feel like this exemption does not apply to me.  As her mother, I see myself as the one who's supposed to be answering these questions.  I could see myself diverting the questions to a more appropriate time ("I'd love to talk about this when we get home"...), but I think I have to talk about it eventually.  She's not just asking the same questions over and over again.  It's like there's always a new angle...

Exactly.  It is not always going to be appropriate, at all, for a child to bring up such sensitive topics, it could really hurt people's feelings.  And I think you are right, you do bear the responsibility of being the one to answer the tough questions IMO but you can tell her you want to address it another time, as long as you keep word and come back to it when you are ready.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post

I totally think y'all are misunderstanding what the pp was trying to say.  You don't have to shut it down, but you can convey that the conversation makes you feel xyz(sad, scared, upset, afraid) and that sometimes people don't like to talk about things that make them feel that way.  I wouldn't ever leave it like that, I would certainly always try to answer my kiddos questions, but I understand what the pp was trying to say, I think.


Yes.  I mean to say you should always answer questions, but it's also OK to teach social mores.  I have boys so this is more of an issue I have to face--'let's not talk about poo at the dinner table,' etc.  My kids hear words they don't understand how heavy it is.  Two words we've had problems with are suicide and addiction.  I explained what the topics meant when it came up, and then my kids were playing suicide themes with toys.  And my five year old would shout out randomly "I'm addicted to ______! (some random thing he liked)."  I swiftly and completely shut down that sort of thing.  I explained and explained and explained.  They questioned and questioned, and I had to finally resort to, "Those are grown up words, don't use them." 

 

ETA: It was comedy or entertainment to them.  They are not mature enough to respect the topic.  They weren't 'real' questions, so you have to judge your child's personality and frame of reference.

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