I'm facing talking with my 3.5 year old about two
: touchy topics:
-divorce (not ours, grandparents and uncle/aunt) and
The divorce is easier bc the divorcees live far away. However, we will soon be visiting them and I am weighing options for telling ds what to expect. I'm leaning toward telling him (maybe one day before we go) that gma and gpa don't live together anymore and that gpa won't be there when we arrive. And give some lame rational like "they're not friends anymore" or "they couldn't figure out how to get along...." Any advice here???
And death. We don't have a tv or this probably would have come up before now. On a couple of occasions now, he has heard reports of "people killed" on NPR. He came running to me and re-stated that fact and said how awful it was and that we should tell whomever killed them to "stop!" and that it's not nice. I'm proud of his empathy, but am wondering if I should even let him hear such things???? I can't shelter him from the whole world forever. And I firmly beleive that death is part of life, not to be feared, etc. It's just hard to explain that to a child, especially when...
last night he asked if he would die. I said that all things die, but that he will die a long long time from now and when he's ready (okay--stretching here). Then the tears welled up and he said, "But I want to stay with you forever." My response? We will be together forever. Our spirits will be together forever. Your spirit is what's inside of you that makes you alive. Your body is just bones and flesh without your spirit...and your spirit will always live and our spirits will always be together...forever.
Whew! He's satisfied for now, but I'm sure more questions are to come. I'm really walking the line here between honesty (and I refuse to lie to him), the breadth of what I can really be certain of, wanting to protect him from pain/reality of death for us all, etc... I would really like to hear how others have handled these questions and exposure to the concept of death at his age (3.5).
Dealing with some heavy issues here...looking forward what other wise mothers have to say!