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My 4.5 year old, sensitive boy is suddenly asking lots of questions about heaven. Weeks ago he asked where my childhood dogs are and I explained that when dogs get very very old and their bodies are sick and don't work anymore they go to a really nice place called heaven-I gave details about heaven and he was content.<br>
Yesterday-out of nowhere- he tells me he does not want our dog to go to heaven. She's 9 but not sick or anything. Then he starts crying about how they won't know what kind of food to feed her, she'll miss her leash. He wants her to be here forever. Nothing and no one has died-this is all sudden. Last night he was up very late crying. He said he couldn't tell me what was wrong but he finally did say he does't want to go to heaven-he would miss our house too much-he wants us all to go at the same time so we can be together and on and on and on......today he tells me he's excited to go to heaven because it sounds nice.<br>
I'm stuck....is this normal? DO you have any children's book suggestions that might help ease his worries? he is a thinker and a worrier and asks very deep thoughtful questions. The whole thing is breaking my heart regardless if it is typical for children to ask these questions. I was so caught off guard and not prepared for this-apparently kids in school are going through the same thing but whenI talked to the teacher she said she has seen or heard nothing about the topic in school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
one question he asked that I couldn't really answer was, "how will she (the dog) get to heaven?" It was so abstract that I couldn't really answer it or explain it. any ideas?
 

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My DD went through the whole mortality thing at around the same age as well, obsessed with deathy, dying, what happens. I think it's normal, and a normal response that they integrate over time.<br><br>
(FWIW we believe in reincarnation and that seemed to quell some of the tears)
 

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I experienced the same thing around that time. We're Christian so I gave a Christian-lite version of being with God and Jesus. (I say "lite" because I certainly didn't go into the alternative.) I stayed away from sickness and emphasized the age aspect, and since all 4 of his g'parents are alive that quelled his fears that he was going to die. For a couple of days he did keep talking about how he couldn't wait to go to Heaven, which did kind of freak me out.<br><br>
If you want more info on Heaven/are Christian, any Christian bookstore like Mardel will have lots of age-appropriate kids books on the subject.
 

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My dd has had evenings like this. I think sometimes she just needs to cry and have a cuddle. We work through things and I try to find a way to put her worries at ease. I think worries are very normal at this age because kids get so much information that they don't fully understand and they have so many questions about the world that seem worrying when combined with a partial understanding.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mainemommy1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15406222"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">one question he asked that I couldn't really answer was, "how will she (the dog) get to heaven?" It was so abstract that I couldn't really answer it or explain it. any ideas?</div>
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I don't know if this fits in with your religious vision of heaven, but it kind of talks about what happens to dogs when they die. <a href="http://www.funny-dog.com/rainbow/" target="_blank">Rainbow bridge</a> There are loads of links online, with music, etc.<br><br>
I think in practical terms, it's probably best to acknowledge his feelings, but then just talk very matter of factly about how we all die.<br><br>
Our dog died when my boys were 3 and 5. We talked about how it was his time, and he's released from all his aches and pains, and how he had a great full life. We've also talked about how when we die, and go to heaven, our dog will be waiting for us, SO happy to see us, but he's having a great time with Grandpa George - who died decades before DS's were born. They like that.
 
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