Teaching kids about death

by beagooddad on February 26, 2007

If you enjoy this post, make sure you subscribe to Be A Good Dad to receive new posts in your email or feed reader

The fish all died recently.  I learned an important lesson about avoiding cleaning the aquarium.

We have lost a couple of hamsters over the last half year.  The newest one seems to be doing fine.  When the previous hamsters went missing, we calmly explained that the Winnie, the hamster, had gone to the groomer; just like Mamaw’s dogs go to the groomer.  A couple days later, a hamster would return from the groomer and everything was fine.

I bet you didn’t know that hamsters needed to go to the groomer.

We decided not to do that with the fish.  Geetle asked.  We told her the fish had died.  She cried for about five minutes.  Then she went to the pet store with me to pick out the new fish.

She still misses Sparkly, though.  I’m amazed with her ability to get the basic premise of death at such a young age.  She knows Sparkly and the others are not coming back and is properly sad about it.  She is also fascinated with the new fish (which are a bit more active than the first batch).

For the record, Pookie noticed, too.  On Saturday, he kept asking, “Feed the fish?” in a way that made it sound like, “Where are the fish?  I would like to feed them?”  And he really seems to like the new more active fish.  Now that fish are back in the tank, he keeps walking over to check them out and then asks to feed them.

I’m glad Geetle is getting used to dealing with the fact that fish die.  We purchased a little tiny crab (her name is Crabby Patty) for the tank yesterday.   This morning my wife and I exchanged the following emails:

BeAGoodMom: she (the crab) ate one.

BeAGoodDad: The little silver fish?  And did she eat the fish or just kill it?

BeAGoodMom: Well, she and the “fish”  (or corpse) are tucked up in the top of the skull head (that’s our bubbler).  Its posible that they are having a slumber party, but I doubt it.

Yep.  It’s a good thing that Geetle is getting used to the circle of life.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }