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

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Azraele

Elite Member
Nov 5, 2000
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Explain to her that the bird has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and is now happy flying with th other birds and animals there, since that is where animals go when they pass on. Then take her to the grave and lay some flowers on it and tell her gently that he won't be back, but that he's happy where he is now.

 

Spamela

Diamond Member
Oct 30, 2000
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she won't understand the permanence of death and that it's not coming back. whatever you do, don't tell her it "went to sleep." she could be distressed for a few weeks, so some sort of funeral ritual may help. getting a new pet right away won't change these feelings.
 

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
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well getting a new pet right away will add an element of distraction, which for a toddler can do a lot. I'm at work, I just went home for lunch and tried to explain to her that he died. and she got this really curious look on her face like... she almost understood but not quite. she's been.... very.. mellow and salom since. *shrug* we will see how she is when I get home. I'm starting to worry, but that is probably the father side of me that is kicking in.

Buddhist: you made a very vaild point, it is a very important part of the circle of life.
 

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
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<< tell her mommy was hungry last night lol j/k tell her truth and buy a new bird >>



ohh disgusting...........

that is disturbed.
 

LadyNiniane

Senior member
Feb 16, 2001
490
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<< Explain to her that the bird has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and is now happy flying with th other birds and animals there, since that is where animals go when they pass on. Then take her to the grave and lay some flowers on it and tell her gently that he won't be back, but that he's happy where he is now. >>



I think an explanation using &quot;pet heaven&quot; or &quot;the Rainbow bridge&quot; (based on parental belief systems) would be appropriate, along with a replacement pet not too far down the road. Both stories allow a young child to acknowledge that a favorite creature is gone from this world, but is in a happier/better place.

Azraele, do you have a website link where the full version of the Rainbow Bridge story is? I've seen several variations of it, but would like to have a copy that I can store on my HD for future reference.

Lady Niniane
 

dafatha00

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
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yeah...its better to explain things to her at a young age so future deaths won't be as hard for her

but of course, continue the santa claus and easter bunny tradition =)
 

airis2001

Senior member
Oct 12, 1999
308
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What ever you do DO NOT tell her that it went to sleep, or had to go away, or anything like that, some thing that you might have to tell er latter like daddy has to go away for a while, when you have to go out of town for a few days. Or if she, or someone else has to have surgery for something, and you tell her that the doctors are going to put her to sleep... you get the picture. I know it may sound sick but you may have made you life's harder by burying the bird before she saw it, to her now the bird just disipered over night.
Ari
 

Azraele

Elite Member
Nov 5, 2000
16,515
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LadyNiniane: I don't think there's an official site, but here is the poem/story.

&quot;There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.&quot;
Author Unknown.
 

LadyNiniane

Senior member
Feb 16, 2001
490
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Thanks, Azraele, that's the version I see most frequently over in AFR.

I've always liked this - it is very consistent with the idea that our furry/feathered friends move on to a better life after their death here on earth (and that we will have a chance to be reunited with them), but avoids the issues that occasionally crop up in some Western Christian cultures about whether &quot;soul-less&quot; creatures have an established place in heaven.

Lady Niniane
 

obiwaynekenobi

Golden Member
May 18, 2001
1,971
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I disagree, could you imagine the look ont he poor girls face when she could came running in to see her faithful friend not moving. no responding not chirping or whistling.

I fear that would have been worse.
 

yellowperil

Diamond Member
Jan 17, 2000
4,598
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Just MHO, but unless you yourself believe in a pet heaven, you shouldn't tell your child about it. As they grow older, kids are very keen on picking up disparities between what their parents say and what they really believe.
 

airis2001

Senior member
Oct 12, 1999
308
0
0
Oops my bad, i should have elaborated a bit. I think the her seeing the dead bird (as long as it was simply dead and not mulited and i have no reason to think that it was) would be helpfull, but it should been done in a controlled manner, not her just running in expecting to play with him/her(?) and finding it dead. Taking to her first, and prepearing her, (I know, that wsa the whole point of this thread) then showing her teh dead bird, prefiberlally in a shoebox or teh like, laying on some paper or maybe an old t-shirt as a pillow.
Ari
 

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