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Any tips on breaking a 3 year olds heart?

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Any tips on breaking a 3 year olds heart?

Old 08-22-2019, 02:18 PM
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Default Any tips on breaking a 3 year olds heart?

Our old cat died last night, and we have to break the news to our 1 & 3 year olds. Little man will be fine, he isnít quite old enough to understand yet. 3 year old girl is likely going to be devastated though. He was her buddy. Not looking forward to this moment in parenting.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:21 PM
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Don't tell her the cat is living somewhere else; just tell her the truth but be prepared for the entire life/death discussion.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:25 PM
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say its gone for a week or 2 on vacation they go get another one
Old 08-22-2019, 02:26 PM
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That is gonna be tough , depends on how much she understands about life and death . Does she have the concept of the cat being old , and that animals live shorter lives than we do ? I think all you can really do is to tell her the cat is in a good place , happy and with his cat family , and that it will be OK for him . That his best days were with her and he only has happy memories where he is now . In a couple days depending on how she takes it maybe float the idea of a new kitten .
Old 08-22-2019, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Our old cat died last night, and we have to break the news to our 1 & 3 year olds. Little man will be fine, he isnít quite old enough to understand yet. 3 year old girl is likely going to be devastated though. He was her buddy. Not looking forward to this moment in parenting.
And if you are going to get another cat tell her that your other cat left this earth to make room for another kitty who will need a little girl to love them and take care them.

Old 08-22-2019, 02:30 PM
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She definitely knows about life and death. Daily conversations with great curiosity about mine and my wifeís deceased grandparents.

We have another cat as well as a chocolate lab. Definitely no kittens or puppies.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:31 PM
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Just tell them, dont bs or beat around the bush. Got an 8, 6, and 3 year old. In just this past year I have had 3 dogs we had to put down. Told them honestly and straightforward. All 3 accepted it and have moved on, love a little more on our last dog.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
She definitely knows about life and death. Daily conversations with great curiosity about mine and my wifeís deceased grandparents.
Then that should make the conversation go a little better; still won't be fun.

Old 08-22-2019, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
She definitely knows about life and death. Daily conversations with great curiosity about mine and my wifeís deceased grandparents.

We have another cat as well as a chocolate lab. Definitely no kittens or puppies.
Then tell he the truth,
Old 08-22-2019, 02:43 PM
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Definitely not hiding the truth at all. Just canít decide on the delivery of that message.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Definitely not hiding the truth at all. Just canít decide on the delivery of that message.
Gotcha
Old 08-22-2019, 02:44 PM
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What OSD said - no BS, keep it straight. They're more capable of accepting the truth than you think.
We put one dog down when my son was 6. He was a little said (no tears), and says occassionally that he misses him, but he coped just fine.
We had to put our second dog down in Feb. Son is now 10. We were at the vet and I was the one who was reluctant and hesitant. My son said "Dad, we need to let her go so she doesn't suffer any more.", and he stayed in the room with us all while she left us. Still surprises me, honestly.

Anyhow, no BS. Just tell her and offer her ice cream 30 seconds later.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mooney6959 View Post
What OSD said - no BS, keep it straight. They're more capable of accepting the truth than you think.
We put one dog down when my son was 6. He was a little said (no tears), and says occassionally that he misses him, but he coped just fine.
We had to put our second dog down in Feb. Son is now 10. We were at the vet and I was the one who was reluctant and hesitant. My son said "Dad, we need to let her go so she doesn't suffer any more.", and he stayed in the room with us all while she left us. Still surprises me, honestly.

Anyhow, no BS. Just tell her and offer her ice cream 30 seconds later.
Your son is more empathetic and more selfless than most people will ever be. Good on you.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Our old cat died last night, and we have to break the news to our 1 & 3 year olds. Little man will be fine, he isnít quite old enough to understand yet. 3 year old girl is likely going to be devastated though. He was her buddy. Not looking forward to this moment in parenting.
When a little kid falls down, they often look at mom or dad to see if it's a cryable event. The bigger deal you make of it, the more devastated they will be. Tell them the cat died, and then go get another cat. Kids at that age will only get really upset if you make a big deal about it.

Don't lie, don't make up stuff, and don't make a big deal of it.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:50 PM
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I told my kids straight up every time a pet died. We lost 3 dogs when the kids were 3-7 years old. They understand animals get old and will die eventually and they understand it is a part of life. We would just talk about the happy times and within a day or 2 they are over it. By the 3rd dog in 3 years my little guy says, where Lilly?? did she kick the bucket?
Old 08-22-2019, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Definitely not hiding the truth at all. Just canít decide on the delivery of that message.
"Hey Johnny, we have some sad news. The cat died. I'll miss him, but maybe tomorrow you can help me pick out another cat. Does that sound like a good idea?"

Seriously - it's that simple.
Or you can make a big deal of it to show how much you miss the cat, try to break it to him gently, cry a little as your saying it, and make the kid ball for a week if that makes you feel better. It's up to you.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:54 PM
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Rainbow Bridge. Hd to do the exact same thing with the little one at 3 with my dachshund who died suddenly from a dog bone cutting her intestine (sepsis). It is interesting, they kinda get it then, but after a while forget and wonder where the pet is, then understand now (6) when things die, but still don't fully get the earlier ones.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:55 PM
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"Honey, Mommy and I want you to know that Socks passed away yesterday, like what we've talked about with Grammy and Grampy. It's OK to be sad, but remember Socks had a really fun life and we all loved her a lot, and she loved us. Do you have any questions for Mommy or Daddy?"

Kids are actually pretty good about acceptance of death and moving on. Whatever you can say to make her understand that it's part of life, natural, and OK.

Good luck.
Old 08-22-2019, 02:59 PM
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tell her the straight up truth! preparing them for the real world starts from the day they were born! anything else is a disservice to them down the road!
Old 08-22-2019, 03:07 PM
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Had the same conversation with our 4 y/o and just explained it straight, then diverted to talking about happy memories and an explanation that we can be grateful and happy about all of the memories, while also ok to be sad about them coming to an end.

Our goals were: Don't lie, give her some coping re-direction, and not dismiss or minimize the fact that she was sad and that's ok too (I hear a lot of parents tell their kids not to be sad in similar situations, and personally think it's an awful thing to tell kids not to be sad about something).

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