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When do you tell the kids? OT

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  • When do you tell the kids? OT

    My DH and I are trying to figure out when to tell our kids about putting Tawney to sleep. Her appointment is tomorrow at 2:20pm. DH thinks we should wait until after we do it and then "see if they notice" she didn't come back with us. I hope he was kidding about that last part. I told him I thought we should give the kids a chance to say good bye. I don't think our son will really understand. He'll be 4 next month. Our daughter is 6 1/2. She had overheard us talking about putting her to sleep a few months ago and burst into tears and begged us not to. I'm not quite sure how to approach this with her. I know there may be many differing opinions, but I'm just looking for some ideas. I remember when my momhad to put our German Shepard to sleep, I was old enough to know what was going on, but not old enough to really understand that she was doing what was best for him. I was so angry she "killed my dog" I didn't speak to her for 2 days. Looking back, I really made that situation so much worse on her. Boy, I could be a rotten child when I wanted to! Stubborn and not listening to reason. I would understand if my daughter reacted similarly, since I did, but I would rather not go through that if I don't have to.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  • #2
    Please don't not tell them. My parents did that to me with our dog when I was a kid, and the fact that I didn't notice for a couple of hours made me feel guilty for years. I would rather have been told before so I could hug him and say goodbye. Even though I was a kid and it was years ago, I still wish I could have gone back and said goodbye. They will thank you when they are older.

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    • #3
      Could you tell her that Tawney is going to be in Heaven with your mother?

      Maybe that would help. Other than that, I have no suggestions.

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      • #4
        I agree with what Jenn said and really think they both need to say their goodbyes to Tawney beforehand.
        We all agree it's hard losing a pet but we also can't hide reality from our kids; they know more than we give them credit for.

        Good luck Melissa
        ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
        Apparently common sense isn't all that common
        *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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        • #5
          When I first read your post, I remembered when my mom put down our childhood cat who was in bad health, without telling the rest of the family. It took a couple days for me to notice, and I was mad that she didn't tell me, but knew it was best for the kitty... If I was in your situation I wouldn't tell them until you have done it. I don't think they will understand, and will view you as killing their dog, and it will make it even harder on you guys to have to go and do it.

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          • #6
            I have a little different opinion on this. If you think your daughter is going to really freak out and not be able understand why it is best to euth Tawny, then I think I would wait till after it's done and simply tell them that Tawny passed away and is in Heaven now. I don't think that we as parents have to always be 100% honest w/our kids. Sometimes IMO they need to be sheltered from details that can make the situation worse for them.

            I also don't even really think that being able to say goodbye is always a good thing for young children. THAT final, heartbreaking goodbye is what they are going to remember when they are older. All the good times they had w/Tawney will fade and only that last moment will stand out.

            I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is such a sad and difficult time for the entire family when our beloved pets die, or we have to make the decision to euth. Being a Mom and having this extra burden of making the "right" choice makes it that much harder.

            Huggs for you and your family. Don't overthink this. You know your children best and know what they can and can't handle. Whatever you decide will be the best decision.
            SheilaB from SC

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            • #7
              Tell them you are taking Tawney to the vet to see if they can help her and that they may not be able to do anything more. If so they will put her to sleep because that will be the kindest thing to do and (like already posted) she will be in heaven with your mom.

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              • #8
                Tell them

                Mylady
                I have been through this with my kids 3 times in the last year. They need to know and they will ask you questions like how did she get to heaven. They are much more matter of fact than grown ups are. They will be ok. My kids knew for days as the dogs/cats were failing. It is hard. That is for sure. They may be sad and then act like nothing has happened and then weeks later mention it. It is very hard to deal with your own sadness when your kids are sad too. Im so so sorry for you and your family.

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                • #9
                  You have already gotten great advice. I would give them the chance to say goodbye myself. ((hugs)) I know this is very hard on you. =(
                  "No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BeeJL View Post
                    Tell them you are taking Tawney to the vet to see if they can help her and that they may not be able to do anything more. If so they will put her to sleep because that will be the kindest thing to do and (like already posted) she will be in heaven with your mom.
                    AGREE!!!

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                    • #11
                      I agree

                      with BeeJL tell her shes sick and going to the vet and that she has to stay a couple days and that they are going to try very hard to make her better and after a couple days of her not being there tell her she died and went to heaven with grandma to look after her. Now I dont have kids so I dont envey you this, is very hard, what ever you do just know that its the best for your self Tawney and your kids. You and your DH sound like loving careing people and with that you cant go wrong..........prayers to you all Dawn

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                      • #12
                        I have been thinking all day today that is was Friday. We are putting Tawney to sleep on Saturday.
                        I have mixed feelings. I love my mom, but she would often try to avoid confrontations by not being upfront with us, and that was a major problem for me. My sister was 4 when my grandfather died, and it wasn't until she was 9 that my mom finally fessed up that grandpa wasn't still just in the hospital. I know she was trying to avoid causing her pain, but in some instances I think it can cause more pain. But DH has a different opinion on the matter and thinks we should allow them to be happy and unknowing for as long as possible. It's tough when we both have such differing opinions on how to go about this. I did think about telling them that Tawney was going to the vet to see if they could help her but that she may not be able to come home with us if she was too sick. I do plan on asking the vet if she thinks it's time. I know she'll say yes, but I have to ask anyway for my own piece of mind. I need that validation. Seeing my kids in pain is almost as bad as having to let go of Tawney.
                        What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                        • #13
                          Years ago my friend had to tell her young daughter that her pony had to be put down. She told her daughter that her pony's poor old sick body had to let his soul go. When she told me how she explained it to her daughter I had never heard it put that way and even I felt better. And I remember that when I have had to go through the same thing with our pets.

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                          • #14
                            Death is a pair of life

                            When a child is very young it probably best to say the pet is going to heaven, to go to sleep
                            also watching a movie about pet's death, all dogs go to heaven or lion king worked great for my daughter years ago,she was 5 years old when the family dog died at 14., I was 6 when my kitten got hit by a car,my mom said she was sleeping for a long time and I would get tow see her again when I was very very old woman when I die.try not to talk about the subject too much,stick to basic facts,kids would are raised on a farm know that every living thing has to die someday,it is a part of life


                            Originally posted by mylady View Post
                            I have been thinking all day today that is was Friday. We are putting Tawney to sleep on Saturday.
                            I have mixed feelings. I love my mom, but she would often try to avoid confrontations by not being upfront with us, and that was a major problem for me. My sister was 4 when my grandfather died, and it wasn't until she was 9 that my mom finally fessed up that grandpa wasn't still just in the hospital. I know she was trying to avoid causing her pain, but in some instances I think it can cause more pain. But DH has a different opinion on the matter and thinks we should allow them to be happy and unknowing for as long as possible. It's tough when we both have such differing opinions on how to go about this. I did think about telling them that Tawney was going to the vet to see if they could help her but that she may not be able to come home with us if she was too sick. I do plan on asking the vet if she thinks it's time. I know she'll say yes, but I have to ask anyway for my own piece of mind. I need that validation. Seeing my kids in pain is almost as bad as having to let go of Tawney.

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                            • #15
                              Death is a part of life

                              Originally posted by desertdogs64 View Post
                              When a child is very young it probably best to say the pet is going to heaven, to go to sleep
                              also watching a movie about pet's death, all dogs go to heaven or lion king worked great for my daughter years ago,she was 5 years old when the family dog died at 14., I was 6 when my kitten got hit by a car,my mom said she was sleeping for a long time and I would get tow see her again when I was very very old woman when I die.try not to talk about the subject too much,stick to basic facts,kids would are raised on a farm know that every living thing has to die someday,it is a part of life
                              Hope all goes well

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