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Killing Frogs - Page 2

post #21 of 256
edamommy, try to be understanding...I see from your sig. that your little one is still very small, so I can see how this may be shocking to you. Those with older children aren't as shocked perhaps because we've experienced something similar with one of our children or a friend's child.

Peace
post #22 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itlbokay
edamommy, try to be understanding...I see from your sig. that your little one is still very small, so I can see how this may be shocking to you. Those with older children aren't as shocked perhaps because we've experienced something similar with one of our children or a friend's child.

Peace
My son isn't the only male child I've ever known! lol! I was a nanny for 2 boys (starting when they were ages 1 and 4) for 5 years! I polled my dad and his two brothers. I've grown up w/ many many boys! And, like I said, only one was a "animal abuser"! It SHOULD be shocking to everyone!
post #23 of 256
I understand, it does sadden me as well. Forgive me for making assumptions.


But empathy is something that needs to be taught with patience
post #24 of 256
well....i agree with edamommy...it is shocking to me to hear this-although, not the 4yo hitting the dog because both my kids have hit the dogs before. now, it's not like i sit there and watch and let them, but it's happened. i think the dogs have a sense of knowing they are just babies because they know to just move away..

anyways, i asked dh. nope, never hurt/killed a small animal as a child. i find the whole thing really upsetting, but i'm way oversensitive. :
post #25 of 256
I will totally be beside myself if my dd kills small animals, because I'm a bleeding heart, but ...

4 is young. Not all 4 year olds "get it." It is very sad the frogs have gotten sent to the Great Swamp in the Sky, and definately someone thing to be prevented, but I wouldn't freak out about it. In an 8 yr old, I'd be more concerned. But 4 and 5? Upsetting, but not "Hit the panic button" upsetting.
post #26 of 256
LOL at the "Great Swamp in the Sky"

Edamommy, I think you just have to accept that different people here have different definitions of what is ok to kill and what is not. Not up for debate (atleast not with me ) but, its a fact and posters here have a LOT of opportunity to learn about vegan-ness and the like, (except I still haven't found out why its okay to eat plants! They are living tooooo!) so don't assume b/c they think/feel differently they haven't done their research...Just a gentle, loving, reminder. (It is good to be passionate about some things though!!!)

Anyone wanna hear the worse animal abuse story I have ever heard??

My BIL (DH bro) who is a MAJOR alcoholic psycho abusive drunk had as a teenager:

Tied two cats tails together and swung them over a telephone wire so they would face each other and fight to death. Did this numerous times
Buried a cat up to its neck in dirt and then ran over it with a lawn mower
and fed acid to a puppy (the dog ate rocks the rest of its life)

I'm sure there was more, but I probably blocked it out. As a child did he kill animals? No, he barely even ate meat (too poor for meat!). Yet, he grew in his teenage and adult years to be an animal killer, decorated marine to a falling down psychotic drunk.

Anyways Kim, I like the pp idea of teaching him about a daddy frog and all the baby frogs that will be missing him tonight ):

Katie
post #27 of 256
BACK OT....

Given your son's other issues, I would just work with him on this. I don't think he is old enough to understand why he does this. But you can work on asking him if he thinks of the frog's family, what about the baby froggies, etc. Maybe this will help him understand more about the living thing?

I also like the idea of a turtle or lizard as a family pet... maybe that will help him learn to care for animals....
post #28 of 256
Kimberly,
I was being serious about the plant thing..Really. I was just trying to be cutesy at the same time. No harm meant, promise.
post #29 of 256
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the feedback.

I feel somewhat better and not nearly as horrified. I spoke with my son's preschool director and teacher today, both who have nearly 20 years experience between them and they assured me that while horrifying, it is pretty normal behavior in kids this age. She said most kids are 1)not going to understand the whole death thing 2) they are curious about cause and effect and 3) with lizzards and frogs -- they are viewed more like bugs.

Edamommy -- I just want to say I appreciate your input here, however I want to say that your child is young and I can totally understand where you are coming from in your beliefs. (I once had very similar ones) As my children have gotten older, the more parents I interact with, the more I have come to realize how diverse people are and how they see things, and how our children can surprise us in ways that totally knock us off our rockers. Just kind of keep that in mind.

I have done research into veganism and vegetarian lifestyle. We have friends that are. However I would never be a vegan (not willing to debate why here or anywhere else in this forum). And I don't see myself going to not eating meat. I like meat. However I do agree with one posters thoughts and opinions about how the farming/meat industry is doing the animals and the consumers a disservice. I know first hand actually because I worked in a chicken processing plant at 19 for 6 months and my husbands family has worked in the "chicken" business for over 30 years. I've also visited dairy farms, and farms where people get veal from. While I can't always get meat in the most ethical way, we have fed out our own cows, pigs, and chickens with other family/friends for meat. They were happy critters and healthy (not full of hormones and drugs). Even though I live in a city, it is considered quite a rural area and killing animals for food is a way of life, and its something my children are aware of. I know not all people agree with it, and that's okay, I do understand that.

I just want to say that I DONT want my child killing frogs, even out of curiousity. I think that maybe I have overreacted in some ways, and should have handled the situation differently based on some of the responses here. Hopefully there will not be a next time, but in case there is, I will remember the advice that was given.

I also think its a good idea about getting something like a frog as a pet. Maybe one of those grow your own tadpole things.
post #30 of 256
Wow. I am surprised at the surprise you all seem to have because in my life as a daycare provider/afterschool program supervisor this is a VERY COMMON occurance. One year I was a counselor for about 12 kids ages 9-12, mostly boys. They kept trying to KILL BIRDS! I was shocked. The male counselor laughed. Their dads laughed (they were mostly hunters themselves). Maybe one kid was upset by this. They kept throwing rocks at seagulls. I 'd say, what are you going to do if you actually hit the bird and it is hurt or killed? It's just a bird, they'd say. Once that summer (under the other counselor's watch) they managed to kill a seagull and once they took apart a bird that was already dead. I made them bury both birds and talked and talked about respect for living things-- but, I don't know how much sunk in. I'd say there was only one kid that had "issues" the rest, just being stupid, following the crowd. For the record, I personally have a lot of memories of boys doing this and so far none are sociopaths.
I think younger kids are still learning and don't understand the limits. Is it ok to kill a bug? A snail? A ladybug? A frog? Mice in the house? My cat leaves us dead things all the time.
My older son has always had empathy, but the younger one is a snail squisher so far. He loves them, but then squishes them and is sad that they are "broken." I pretend to be sad for the snail. We name the snails. It is a process. It is just that those things are fragile. He can pinch me, and the cat, he can run us over with a truck and we're ok, it is almost that he doesn't understand the physics of it.
post #31 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravin
FWIW, my sisters and I definitely did our share of killing or playing w/ dead critters as kids. When I was in 3rd grade, I took a Saturday Scholars class at the local university called "Cuttin' Up Critters" that was basically a hands-on anatomy lab. We started w/ worms, grasshoppers, then crawfish, fish, rats, and finally examined pre-prepared dissected cats. This was all in a supervised environment.
I don't have time to read the entire thread yet but wow - there is a class for eight year olds called "Cuttin' Up Critters"??? I refused to do dissection in high school - did the 500 word paper instead each time it came up. I understand it for pre-med but for high school kids? And eight year olds?? I just think it is unnecessary and sad.

To the OP, I would be concerned and stay on top of it, but not necessarily worried to an extreme. It is of course upsetting but I do think that it falls within the range of what some little boys (I know a pp said girls too but this seems to me to be something that is found primarily among the boy set) do as they are growing up. I think you'll find lots of kids who smash bugs, even the pour salt on slugs thing. But somehow we understand (or believe) that frogs and birds fall into a different category.

When I nannied, the sweet, darling, precious little boy whom I had loved and cared for 11 hours a day for almost five years completely freaked me out in a similar way. I had quit working to stay home and have my own kids but did go back and babysit for them in later years. So I was at their house, with the two of them and my own toddler. The girls were in the house with me and he was playing outside in the back yard - whole back of the house is windows so I can see him running around. I notice that he is kind of sneaking around, slowly and crouching down a bit. Then he raises his hand and throws a rock - at a bird sitting on the ground! I came unglued. He was probably around seven years old? Old enough to know better! I went flying out the patio door and yelling his name. He knew what I was mad about. I don't remember the exact words but it was something to the effect that he "may not ever do that again! We don't throw rocks at living things. It could hurt or kill the bird. Come in the house. I am very, very sad and angry that you did that." I did have the immediate thought that serial killers start out by hurting animals. I do not think he will be a sociopath. But I do know one and he did hurt animals as a boy.

In the frog situation of the op, I would be very on top of it. He would not be alone outside or near any animals at all without my direct supervision. I can appreciate your worry and I'd feel the same. It is probably just a little boy thing but I'd keep an eye on it.
post #32 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
Thanks again for all the feedback.

I feel somewhat better and not nearly as horrified. I spoke with my son's preschool director and teacher today, both who have nearly 20 years experience between them and they assured me that while horrifying, it is pretty normal behavior in kids this age. She said most kids are 1)not going to understand the whole death thing 2) they are curious about cause and effect and 3) with lizzards and frogs -- they are viewed more like bugs.





Glad to hear that you are feeling better about this.
post #33 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by edamommy
My son isn't the only male child I've ever known! lol! I was a nanny for 2 boys (starting when they were ages 1 and 4) for 5 years! I polled my dad and his two brothers. I've grown up w/ many many boys! And, like I said, only one was a "animal abuser"! It SHOULD be shocking to everyone!

Even though I took care of lots of other people's children before having my own, as well as having brothers also, I have found that I am a lot more understanding on a lot of child rearing/parental issues now that I have children of my own. As I pass different milestones with them, I feel that my understanding grows as well.
post #34 of 256
I totally agree that this is not just a boy thing. I used to torture bugs, especially grasshoppers, who hop about maddly after their heads are ripped off When I lived in the country, all the kids did this stuff, we where allowed to freely roam the fields and river banks without parental micro-management. I offer Emma just as much freedom as is necessary for her safety, and she squishes the odd caterpillar, which doesn't faze me (they infest fruit trees here and theres no shortage of the buggers) I also teach her how to be kind to our cats, how to hold bugs gently if she wants to look at them, and she's already very good at recognizing birds by their sounds. I don't think she's growing up to be a chronic mutilator, but rather a curious kid who is given some freedom to explore what kids explore, without me always in her face about it.

I also think that MOST kids, if left to their own devices and with plentiful access to bugs/frogs would engage in the curiousity resulting in killing. Puppies and kittens do the same thing, I think it's very normal.

From what I understand about the serial killer/psycho connection, if the torture involves family pets, this is a warning sign, and if they torture other creatures with conscious pleasure from causing suffering, rather than common childood scientific curiosity and amusement.

With an older kid, I think getting a pet frog for them is a brilliant way to teach them compassion while also satisfying their curiosity, however I wonder if keeping a captive wild animal, as frogs are, is actually crueler than killing them (they are common prey to various animals).
post #35 of 256
I don't think getting a frog for a pet is a good way to teach empathy, only because frogs just don't make very good pets (in the sense that they're not going to run up to you and want to be petted, etc.). Ditto with turtles. Please don't get a frog!! You may end up with another dead frog on your hands. They are hard to take care of, and well, not really meant for captivity.

I think a better idea for teaching empathy for frogs would be to get some books out of the library, like maybe something that anthropomorphises (SP??) frogs. There's a picture book I saw about how Froggy went a courtin' at our library, and also there's always those Frog and Toad stories.
post #36 of 256
I guess I am a bit shocked that on Mothering of all places...people are all happy to swap their stories of animal abuse (that cat story was particularly charming) in order to make someone else feel better about their child's abuse of a harmless creature.

I can understand wanting to be empathetic --for example, sharing something like -- "I did this once and though it was wrong, I turned out okay..."

...but what is particularly disturbing is the seeminlg proud antecdotes "wanna hear the worst story I ever heard!!! My brother tied two cats together and strung them up to fight to the death!!"

Gee, that would make me so proud if my son did that.


Again, I am not suggesting this child is a psycho or something... but now learning he is bipolar... I am very concerned that his psychologist seemed to think it has nothing to do with it--- I know A LOT through my education about biplolar disorder and I know that 2 big issues most bipolar people struggle with is empathy and impulse control...

It just makes me sad to see that a lot of posters are taking the position of "oh well, haven't we all tortured and killed a few animals in our lives"....

No, we all haven't.
post #37 of 256
I would say not to get a pet to teach how him to to be nice to animals. Get a pet AFTER he understands that animals are not our entertainment. Pets our our responsibility and shouldn't be used as to teach because, until kids learn the lessons, there could be mistreatment. My friends 4 year old (mostly a sweet kid) loves to chase her cat - he thinks it funny to yell and watch the cat scurry. My friend wanted to get a kitten and said it woudl be her son's kitten and he would learn to be nice to it. The kitten is now an adult cat that is permanently neurotic - lives under the bed all day and comes out only at night. Its little brain was formed around this yelling chasing kid (he never hurt it physically) and pschological damage was done.
post #38 of 256
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
I think younger kids are still learning and don't understand the limits. Is it ok to kill a bug? A snail? A ladybug? A frog? Mice in the house? My cat leaves us dead things all the time.
We do have cats that leave dead mice, lizzards, and birds on our backporch. I never gave much thought to it until just now, that my son sees this going on and how proud our cats look when they bring us "gifts".
post #39 of 256
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Again, I am not suggesting this child is a psycho or something... but now learning he is bipolar... I am very concerned that his psychologist seemed to think it has nothing to do with it--- I know A LOT through my education about biplolar disorder and I know that 2 big issues most bipolar people struggle with is empathy and impulse control...

It just makes me sad to see that a lot of posters are taking the position of "oh well, haven't we all tortured and killed a few animals in our lives"....

No, we all haven't.
While my son has been diagnosed with bipolar he has never had a problem with empathy, ever. Just want to make it clear that bipolar in children, especially the very young child, is much different than say older children (over 10) and adults. I know a great deal about bipolar myself because having a child with it, you need to know as much as your doctor does. Also, his impulses are "normal" for his age range because he is on medication and has been stable for sometime now. I just don't want someone to read this thread and think that just because a child has bipolar, doesnt mean they can't , don't, won't have empathy.

As far as the other people's stories, well, I appreciated them. I never did anything to harm a small animal or lizzard/frog like, but I know many who have, especially after today when I was talking about this up at the school.

I am not going to micro-manage my son either. I know that has been suggestion that I need to supervise him in this way but I don't agree that is what we need to do. We have two cats and he hasn't done anything to try and mame them, nor has he done this with birds or dogs, just frogs. My husband also doesnt think we need to do this either, because he thinks its going to give him a complex -- he's already micro-managed in other areas as it is.
post #40 of 256
Quote:
I just don't want someone to read this thread and think that just because a child has bipolar, doesnt mean they can't , don't, won't have empathy.
I wasn't suggesting that at all and I am sorry if that is what you got. I was merely suggesting that is something that people with bipolar struggle with (crap, even people who DON'T have bipolar!)...and it is...that is not saying that people with bipolar don't have empathy, or impulse control...but to me, someone killing a frog to "see it flatten like a pancake just because"... suggests not the best of impulse control or empathy.. that is all. Take it for what it is.. I am not saying your child is crazy, or a bad child, or that he won't grow up to be a perfectly wonderful, well-adjusted, kind person... I completely believe that he has a greater chance of that than anything else.. (growing up fine I mean)

I was just putting it out there that I personally would not just chalk it up to *boys will be boys*...
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