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#31 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 05:45 PM
 
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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.
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#32 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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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.
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#33 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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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.
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#34 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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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).
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#35 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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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.
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#36 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 06:59 PM
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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.
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#37 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 07:09 PM
 
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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.
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#38 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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".
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#39 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#40 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 07:38 PM
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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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#41 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OnTheFence
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.
I understand not wanting to micromanage his outdorr play. But I would feel the defenseless frogs he could kill in the future a SERIOUS repsonsibility of mine that would probably overide my desire for my son to have time outside free of a hovering mama/dad (i'm mostly vegan BTW as is my dh, so somewhat biased).

It sounds like he does think of frogs as insects. Personify them, and bugs too. Charlottes Web is great for that (he should be old enough).
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#42 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:02 PM
 
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That would be very upsetting and hard to deal with.

I would not be okay if my dd killed a frog. She would learn to understand that it was unacceptable or she would not play outside. Maybe talk about how you can handle/observe the frog gently and practice with a rubber frog. Maybe talk about a frog's life cycle. Maybe observe frogs at the zoo/pet store. I would not actually get a pet though. http://allaboutfrogs.org/froglnd.shtml
Speak to your ds firmly and honestly, and keep the focus on the act not on him.

I think I might start talking about death if you haven't already. Get a book about it.


http://www.animaland.org/

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#43 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
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.



I have to totally agree with this...I would never allow my child to think it was okay to kill an innocent animal/bird/and or insect...It is one thing if a person is taking for food for the table..Another if it is for entertainment or anger issues or just because...Kids may do it because they have a curiosity on what will happen when I do this but they must me taught that what they have done is totally wrong and must never do it again..It is not funny to see a cat tortured or a bird stoned to death..That pain and fear was very real to them..And children need to be taught that those animals feel pain and fear the same as they do..That said...


I have dealt with this not with my child but with a nephew who has been doing it for years...Years ago when my son was 8 and this child was 5 he threatened to kill a batch of newborn kittens cause everyone was saying they were going to take them home when they were weaned...He pulled out a kitchen knife and while the girl cousins ran off with the kittens he had every intention of killing, my son tried to stop him..He tried to cut my son.He cut his shirt..Luckilly my son is bigger and knocked him down..I am a gentle person but I blew up on this..His mom is in denial..I made it very clear to this child and his mother what would happen if it ever happened again..

The other night the same child now 10 years old was angry at my son and other nephew for holding his frog..He cut the frogs legs off and repeatly stabbed it..Then kept catching frogs just to stab and maim.When the other boys made noises to scare the frogs away so he couldn't he threatened to kill them with knives..

My reason for writing all this...It may be nothing now but it might be something later...If it turns into a pattern there could be a problem and I would seek help..I am not looking to debate and I won't but seeing people making it out to be normal to kill helpless creastures for just the fun of it makes me cringe.JMHO Love Mylie
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#44 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OnTheFence
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".
One way you could deal with that issue is to keep your cats inside the house. And when they're outside the house, you could keep them on a leash.

Doing these things would:

1.) eliminate one source of confusion for your son in regards to killing things

2.) protect your cats

3.) protect songbirds that are already under assault from habitat loss.

I used to have a really good paper re: how and why to do this, if you're interested I could try and find it.
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#45 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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Only have a moment, but I have never heard that people with bipolar struggle with empathy.

Impulse control yes, but not empathy.

I'd be curious to see a reference for that claim.
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#46 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mommytolittlelilly
One way you could deal with that issue is to keep your cats inside the house. And when they're outside the house, you could keep them on a leash.

Doing these things would:

1.) eliminate one source of confusion for your son in regards to killing things

2.) protect your cats

3.) protect songbirds that are already under assault from habitat loss.

I used to have a really good paper re: how and why to do this, if you're interested I could try and find it.
My cats are "working cats" and were indoor/outdoor critters until a few weeks ago. One of my children is allergic to them and they can no longer come inside.
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#47 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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Darn. That's too bad!
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#48 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Dechen
Only have a moment, but I have never heard that people with bipolar struggle with empathy.

Impulse control yes, but not empathy.

I'd be curious to see a reference for that claim.
http://www.med.umich.edu/depression/bipolar.htm

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art22771.asp

Its discussed in several books, off the top of my head is The Bipolar Child,
Bipolar Disorders: Clinical Course and Outcome, Bipolar Disorder A Guide For Patients and Families
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#49 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Flor
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.
This entire thread sickens me. My father is a farmer and a hunter... and he's never killed a frog or maimed a frog. Anyway, I'm really studdering over myself and have nothing nice to say... it's just sad and warped and twisted and NOT normal.
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#50 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 10:23 PM
 
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I hate to admit this but growing up we use to catch fireflies, break their tails off and squish the stuff on us so we would glow. UGH!!!!!!!!! Gross!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not appropriate, yet no adults stopped us.

At that young age I would wonder if it is more of a developmental issues, not completely understanding. Also, sometimes I think curiosity gets the better of children, like removing the wings off of insects or destroying cocoons to look inside.

I would also wonder if it is curiosity. There are several web sites and books with pictures of insides/dissecting. I was in college just before his age, so my son had open access to lots of pictures of the insides. He never went through this phase.

You might also want to look into a nature perserve and see if they have classes that might help develop empathy and fill his curiosity.
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#51 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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I don't have time to read all the replies right now, but just wanted to mention a few things.

Ds1 has never wanted to smash a frog, but he has stepped on ants and asked to smash a worm or a bug after he'd been watching it for awhile. We discourage it, telling him that it hurts the bug, etc. I don't think I would punish him if he did smash a worm, but I would definitely let him know that I was upset, that it is not a nice thing to do, that it hurts a living creature.

I know it shouldn't be different if it was a frog - a living being is a living being - but it does seem different. A frog seems more wrong somehow. But I still think it falls within the realm of normal child curiosity.

Dh told me once about when he was in grade school. He and some of his friends were down at a creek throwing rocks. A duck came by, and for no reason whatsoever, dh decided to throw a rock at it. It him the duck in the head, and killed it. He said he felt horrible, and to this day feels haunted and guilty about what he did.

While it was a horrible thing that he did, I think it was an important learning experience for him as a child, and I'm sure he never intentionally hurt a living thing again (well, except for the rats we had in our garage). In fact, one time a friend unexpectedly gave me some live lobsters. I had to be gone all evening, and couldn't stand the thought of them suffocating in the fridge. So I asked dh to boil them for me, and he was really upset about having to do it!
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#52 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 10:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OnTheFence
http://www.med.umich.edu/depression/bipolar.htm

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art22771.asp

Its discussed in several books, off the top of my head is The Bipolar Child,
Bipolar Disorders: Clinical Course and Outcome, Bipolar Disorder A Guide For Patients and Families
The lack of empathy is mentioned under manic episodes. Okay, I get how someone experiencing mania might not be capable of empathy. I still wouldn't say it is a general personality trait in bipolar individuals.
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#53 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 10:37 PM
 
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Wanting to put out that niether of my boys would have the heart to do anything like this! Nor would they throw a rock at a duck's head.

When i was a child, under 8 yrs old, there was a boy on my street who used to laugh and step on baby birds that fell from a particular nest, but all of us were horrified by this. I would run home an cry to my parents, but as far as I know, none of the other boy children could stand up to his horrible actions in front of him. He was known, for years, in our enighborhood, as a murdering loser. I moved from that neighborhood before I turned 10, and i have no idea whatever happened to that child.

But I can tell you that all of us kids thought he was crazy.

Edited to add. My dh just said-- "Not all boys find amusement in killing animals. I would have been totally horrified at witnessing something like this as a child".

My 11 yr old said: "Even if kids were teasing you to hit something with a rock, you can still have bad aim'.

To which my 16 yr old replied: Sometimes people are evil, but it doesn't mean we have to join them. And i agree with my brother that being teased for poor aim is better than knowing you killed an animal".
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#54 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 11:00 PM
 
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I just wanted to clarify that I shared the story about my dh and the duck not as another "all kids kill things" story, but to illustrate that I think that sometimes kids can't understand death, don't have full impulse control yet, and are often sometimes just curious and confused about the connection between their actions and the result, especially when it comes to living creatures. (How was that for a run on sentence.)

I think it's interesting that some people here will say killing for food is okay but not for fun. Some people here say that killing any animal is wrong. Others I'm sure are okay with hunting (wasn't someone's dad a hunter?), but somehow see a boy stepping on a frog as horrible. Everyone is entitled to where they choose to draw the line, but please recognize that it is purely subjective. And if we as adults have disagreement and moral confusion, how can we expect a 4yo to totally understand?
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#55 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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I do think it's quite possible for small children to not understand death and the ramifications of their actions. Your boy was quite small and in a position he didn't understand and couldn't reckon.

But I stand my my point that not all boys are going to kill animals-- and esp animals that they do not plan to serve to their families.
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#56 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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There's been lots of stories shared on this thread (I took the time to read all the replies), lots of advice and commiseration and thought.

I just wanted to add (my own story I guess!) that I have two brothers and two sisters (I'm the oldest) and we grew up in the bush.

My parents are hardcore AP/GD, the whole gamut. I won't get into qualifications... :LOL

And each and every one of us squished, stomped, or killed something at some point. I agree with the people that said it has to do with empathy and compassion - both of which are skills that a child grows into, and is taught.

No - not every child does it. Yes - it can make us cringe. But on the grand scale of things our children may one day do - it's relatively small. We can use this as an opportunity to guide them and teach them.. not freak out on them and lable them.

Quote:
it's just sad and warped and twisted and NOT normal.
I usually just read, and seldom post - but here is why I felt compelled. That was one of the more rude and judgemental posts I've read lately. The OP was looking for advice, not your condemnation.

I would say wait a few years until your little one is older and exploring his world in ways you may disagree with - and then think back on this.

My two year old spent the day playing with worms in our garden. Sometimes she got a little rough and they got squished, or cut in half - I was there to remind her to be gentle and to let the worms go. Sad and warped and twisted? No. Normal - yes.

to everyone. Let's be nice to eachother...

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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#57 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 11:32 PM
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I want you to know that my brother was the same way as a child, even killed a snake with a beebee gun and ate it with friends! He killed many frogs, too. Horrid, awful "boy" stuff. Now, he is all grown up, a long time vegan, a horticulturalist and an environmental scientist who works to preserve native plants and animals. His killing days are long past! So, just because your little guy is killing frogs now does not mean he will not grow up to be a kind, sensitive man.

That being said, there are links between killing animals and inappropriate and abusive behavior towards animals and people later on. So, this is definitely something you are right in being upset about and want to stop. I think this is a fascinating topic. My dd is only 2.5 but this is something I might potentially have to deal with. I found a couple of good articles on the apa website. Here are links.

http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/apa-aap.html

http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/altruism.html
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#58 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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While i am not condemning anyone, I do not think that killing animals for fun past a certain age of reason is normal. Killing animals is one of those red flags that suggests a child is experienceing trauma of some sort. perhaps it is emotional, psychological -- whatever-- but i would be supremely worried if an older child of mine (over 4 or so) was involved with killing an animal the size the OP said this toad was. I know that some children burn bugs with magnifying glasses etc., but it's still not right and something needs to be said if a child is experiencing pleasure from such things.

It's not being judgemental--it's being concerned. A 3 yr old stepping on an ant is different from an older child squashing the guts out of something as big as a frog.

IMO, there is nothing 'normal' about this. I am happy to take the heat. But this is wrong. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with a young boy trying to feed his native or frontier family.
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#59 of 256 Old 05-25-2005, 11:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
It's not being judgemental--it's being concerned. A 3 yr old stepping on an ant is different from an older child squashing the guts out of something as big as a frog.

IMO, there is nothing 'normal' about this. I am happy to take the heat. But this is wrong. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with a young boy trying to feed his native or frontier family.


I'm sorry, but I can't buy that this is a "boy" thing. I asked my husband about this very thing and he said that he never has tortured or killed any animals and never thought about it. My Dad said that when he got his first gun as a kid (country kid), he went out and shot a litttle bird that was singing in a tree. When the bird fell on the ground, he cried and cried. It haunted him for years and when he tells the story, you can tell that it still upsets it. The problem I have is not only the size of the animal, but the method of killing (death by repeated Tonka rolling sounds horrible), the fact that another child repeatedly tried to intervene (so not an issue of quick impulse control) and the fact that it's happened more than once. I could see something like it happening once, like my Dad's bird story, and then the child realizes what death is. But the fact that the boy keeps killing the frogs after many explanations is especially disturbing to me. And I really hate how people brush this stuff off as "boy stuff" when it's really not true.

I wish I had real advice for the OP. I guess my only advice would be to shadow this boy until this behavior stops, but (I think) she's said that she feels it's unnecessary "micro-managing". I hope that a good solution is reached for the animal's sakes and for the sake of this child.
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#60 of 256 Old 05-26-2005, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WOW.

It's either a normal developmental thing, or my child is warped and not "normal".

I want to say that I don't put frogs on the same "level" as some of you are, that is for sure. And I guess I don't get some of the comments. I've probably run over more frogs in my driveway and I never give a second thought to their pain and suffering, however I don't want my son killing them for any reason. I just love the description one of the posters gave about the Tonka Truck (this is sarcastic) but more than likely my son got this from the fact he has seen his fair share of frogs, smashed like pancakes in the driveway and road. Not that I approve, but he is FOUR, and they do not have the cognitive abilites that adults have.

I'll just add one more thing to be paranoid about and when the police interview me or Prime Time does in a few years, I will reflect back on all this and if he turns out to be a Doctor working for Green Peace, I'll just have to think it was dumb luck my messed up kid got to that point. Oy.
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