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how do I explain to a toddler why her favorite pet died.

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
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I have a 2 year old toddler.
and until Last night I had a cocketail,
that bird was her favorite thing in the world. she would spend hours talking to it.
last nigt around 4:00 am, my wife wakes me saying that he's making funny noies and she heard a "thump." so I get out of bed to go look at the bird had fallen to the bottom of the cage. and died abour 30 mins later. we buried it last night so my daughter wouldn't have to see it's dead corpse in the cage. This morning we decided that we should put a gate up in the front of the room where the bird wasn so she wouldn't see the empty cage.

AS of current she still does not know that the bird died last night,
and we don't know how to even begin how to explain it to her. or how she is going to react. she's a very smart 2 year old. (almost 3)
 

FettsBabe

Diamond Member
Oct 21, 1999
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Be honest, and tell her the bird was sick and its better off now if birdy heaven. :) She will cry, but she will understand. Have her set up a little memorial at its grave, and take her to get another pet.
 

Lucky

Lifer
Nov 26, 2000
13,126
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While getting a new one is slightly amusing and easier in the short term, its not healthy in the long term. A child raised with an understanding of death and who is taught that death is ok and normal will be much more adjusted and healthy when a death later in life happens to a person she knows. DONT hide the fact that the bird died-just explain it and tell her that everything eventually dies, and to not be scared of death.
 

propellerhead

Golden Member
Apr 25, 2001
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Tell her the bird died and is buried in the backyard.

I never made up stories to my son about a boogeyman, or birdy heaven, or whatnot. It's bad enough that they have to deal with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.


 

yiwonder

Golden Member
Nov 30, 2000
1,185
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I have to agree that you should tell her about the bird. She will cry, but it will be best that she learns about death. Everyone needs to do it somehow and this may be the best time to do it. Don't go get another. That will just hurt her more in the long run.

Promise that you will get another pet. FettsBabe's idea is good too.
 

Merkat

Banned
Dec 22, 2000
121
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Tough job....
Mom and Dad were trying to console Susie, whose dog had
recently died.
"You know, it's not your fault that the dog died.
He's probably up in heaven right now, having a grand old
time with God."
Susie, still crying, said "What would God want with a dead dog?"
 

Nomerc

Member
Feb 8, 2000
82
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I have to agree with FettsBabe. Explain it to her and help her pick out a new pet. This will also teach her about death and how to relate to it.

 

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
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<< Tell her the bird died and is buried in the backyard. >>



That's actully where it is at right now. We buried it at like 4:30 this morning. Right next to the hamster that died from old age a couple of years ago. :frown: my wife had it since she was like 15. lived almost 11 years. The cocketail died from old age too scary thing. what can I say the animals we have last practily forever.

I appericate all of the advice it's refreashing. animal heaven is not a bad idea...


thanks!
 

Jokeram

Golden Member
May 9, 2001
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tell her the truth and ask her if she wants another one... take her to the pet store and get what she wants.
 

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
1,971
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<< tell her the truth and ask her if she wants another one... take her to the pet store and get what she wants. >>



she is 2 years and 8 months.. I don't know if she'll understand the concept of choosing.
 

Dan

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,080
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In general, FettsBabe has the right idea. Let her know the bird got old, died and went to heaven. (I don't know about telling her the bird got sick and died. You don't want your daughter to have a panic attack the next time she has the sniffles or a tummy ache. I'm not sure about letting her know the bird is buried in the back yard either.)

Take her to the pet store and let her help you pick out another bird. (
 

FettsBabe

Diamond Member
Oct 21, 1999
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Excellent point Dan...probably shouldn't tell her the bird was sick...but old age is a good idea. I didn't think about that!

She's gonna ask where the body is...I say be honest.

 

MrMojo

Member
Feb 11, 2001
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Tell her that things we dont want to happen sometimes do, and that its ok for her to be sad.
 

Elledan

Banned
Jul 24, 2000
8,880
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<< Tell her that things we dont want to happen sometimes do, and that its ok for her to be sad. >>


I second that. It's not a crime to be sad sometimes.
 

TripleJ

Platinum Member
Apr 29, 2001
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Heck, be brutally honest and say that it was probably in excruciating pain with multiple cancers than eventually swelled the brain and cracked it's skull, resulting in massive internal bleeding and an agonising death. :)


JJJ
 

isekii

Lifer
Mar 16, 2001
28,578
3
81
hehe just play it off stupid.. and say.. hunny.. what bird are you talking about ..

we never had a bird ;)


J/K

just tell her.. that the bird.. had to take a long vacation... and will be back later..
she'll most likely forget.. and dont forget to replace it with a different pet ;)
 

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
1,971
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<< Heck, be brutally honest and say that it was probably in excruciating pain with multiple cancers than eventually swelled the brain and cracked it's skull, resulting in massive internal bleeding and an agonising death >>



That would be effective only in the sense that if I used big words like that she'd look at me and say &quot;ok daddy so where is baca&quot; Baca is the birds name we found out later that it's portugese for cow. *chuckle*

I agree with you Fetts: telling her that he bird got sick is a bad Idea. she'll freak next time I tell her &quot;mommy isn't feeling well&quot; or jesse or whomever.

we will probably get parakets or something. That bird was EXPENSIVE. and I really don't have the cash flow at this point to get another cocketail.

I appericate everyones opinions though.
 

Buddhist

Golden Member
Jan 15, 2000
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I think you should try to obviously break it to her gently...but don't deceive the death of the bird for her...dying is quite an important part to the circle of life...this is one of those important lessons she's going to learn in life...if she learns this from a young age, she will not have much difficulty in coming to terms with death and accepting it from a young age as a natural thing that is as pure as birth.

Course, if you feel you should hid it from her until she's older, thats your decision as a parent to make.

Good luck!
-M.T.O
 

kassy

Guest
Sep 13, 2000
1,603
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It depends on what you believe, but when the family dog died, I explained it to my son using a balloon. The balloon being the body and the air inside being the spirit. The balloon goes in the trash can but the spirit surrounds us, He was about that age, I am not sure he understood but I felt better for having attempted an explaination.
 

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