Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > The Academy > Tilted Philosophy


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-25-2005, 11:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
Devoted
 
Redlemon's Avatar
 
Donor
Location: New England
Explaining bad news to toddlers?

My son is two and a half. His best friend is a three year old boy, who also has a 5 year old sister and an infant sister. Last week, their house burned down, but fortunately there were no injuries. We just found out yesterday (we had been away). We haven't told our son yet; we certainly want to wait until he can see his friend face to face.

How much is a toddler ready to understand about things like this?
__________________
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
Redlemon is offline  
Old 04-25-2005, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
AHH! Custom Title!!
 
liquidlight's Avatar
 
Location: The twisted warpings of my brain.
Wow. . . just wow. . . I'm glad that nobody got hurt, and I'm hoping that they were insured!

My children are now 5 and 4, and they've both got more comprehension and understanding that even I give them credit for. Personally I would be very honest about it and probably leverage the discussion into how dangerous playing with certain things can be. On the flipside unless this is going to require his friends family to relocate and thus lose touch with them I don't think that I'd put too much emphasis on it, of course making the assumption that it's not going to impact his actual environment much.

Hopefully the boys will be able to learn that as good friends they can help each other through difficult times.
__________________
Halfway to hell and picking up speed.
liquidlight is offline  
Old 04-25-2005, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Moderator Emeritus
Location: Chicago
Stress no one was hurt... and what they lost was just things - -maybe it's a lesson about sharing his things with someone who doesn't have thiers anymore.

Doubley stress how you have smoke detectors in your house and maybe show him how they work so that you are protecting yourself from havng it happen.
__________________
Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less.
maleficent is offline  
Old 04-25-2005, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Right behind you...BOO!
I think the previous posters have this pretty much covered. The first thing that came to my mind was the opportunity to express why playing with fire is so bad. The second was sharing toys with him because his are gone now. Your son is still very young and might not quite understand what all of this means for a while, but it can't hurt to talk to him about it and see what his responses are.
__________________
Smile It makes people wonder what you're up too!
Hash_Browns is offline  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
Devoted
 
Redlemon's Avatar
 
Donor
Location: New England
Thanks for your thoughts. Just as a bit more background, it was believed to be an electrical short, they are insured, and they are planning to rebuild on the same property. I think they'll be living in a nearby hotel until the rebuild is completed.
__________________
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
Redlemon is offline  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
AHH! Custom Title!!
 
liquidlight's Avatar
 
Location: The twisted warpings of my brain.
Good to hear! At least insurance is doing it's job for once

Perhaps it's a small blessing, it's a little drastic, but a helluva remodel. You can send them my sympathies and here's hoping that they didn't lose too many things that were irreplaceable.
__________________
Halfway to hell and picking up speed.
liquidlight is offline  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Moderator Emeritus
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlemon
Thanks for your thoughts. Just as a bit more background, it was believed to be an electrical short, they are insured, and they are planning to rebuild on the same property. I think they'll be living in a nearby hotel until the rebuild is completed.
I think the worst part of it for a little kid, that it could happen to them... Heck any age might think that... Is a toddler too young for fire drills? Probably, but showing him where the smoke detectors are and where the fire extinguishers are might help.. and also stress how important it is that no one got hurt, that they can rebuild.

It's gotta be tough for a little guy to take it all in...

Are there fire engine and fire department books for kids?
__________________
Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less.
maleficent is offline  
Old 06-03-2005, 05:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
Devoted
 
Redlemon's Avatar
 
Donor
Location: New England
In case anyone is curious, we went with the simple "Bobby's house is broken. Bobby's family is living in a new house until they fix their old house." Also, we avoided passing the burned house until he had seen his friend in the new house a couple of times. Sometimes he brings it up ("Bobby house fall down"), and he seems a bit concerned about it, but we try to reassure him that everybody is OK, and that the house just needs to be fixed.
__________________
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
Redlemon is offline  
Old 06-09-2005, 08:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
I think the worst part of it for a little kid, that it could happen to them... Heck any age might think that... Is a toddler too young for fire drills? Probably, but showing him where the smoke detectors are and where the fire extinguishers are might help.. and also stress how important it is that no one got hurt, that they can rebuild.
I second this wholeheartedly. I see you've already dealt with the general issue to some degree, but I would be sure to do something to reassure your child that your house is not about to fall down, too.

Obviously, you can't promise that it won't happen (it's a really good bet, but a bummer if you are proven wrong), but I would explain how sometimes things like this happen and that is why you have smoke detectors, etc.

I also think it can't hurt to talk about what to do if a smoke detector goes off.
__________________
A little silliness now and then is cherished by the wisest men. -- Willy Wonka
balderdash111 is offline  
Old 06-21-2005, 09:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
pío pío
 
doodlebird's Avatar
 
Location: on a branch about to break
thank goodness no one was hurt.

was the family in the home when it burnt down? if the kids saw it, they might be in need of some comforting / long term counselling. here's why...

when i was 11, there was a fire in my room - at the foot of my bed. i am a very heavy sleeper. i woke to the sound of the fire alarm. thank goodness it didn't spread quickly, or i would be physically scarred for like. as it is, it's only mental. i still can't wake to any sort of beeping alarm - they scare the shit out of me. i went to a counsellor for a while. it didn't make me unafraid, but it did help know what i was afraid of. fear is ok in some cases. and when it comes to fire, fear is good.

so please, make sure these little ones (yours too!) are getting some extra hugs and a bit of wee one mental guidance.
__________________
xoxo
doodle
doodlebird is offline  
Old 06-21-2005, 10:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
pow!
 
clavus's Avatar
 
Location: NorCal
Clavus' method for imparting difficult truths to children -

Start by telling the truth in a vague or general manner. Allow the kid to ask questions. They will generally ask for more clarity, more specifics. Answer the questions truthfully. Answer specifically what is asked, not what you think is being asked. (listen, goddammit) Allow the kid to get to get as much information as he/she is comfortable with.

If your kids are like mine, expect follow-up questions days or weeks later. Answer them.
__________________
Ass, gas or grass. Nobody rides for free.
clavus is offline  
Old 06-22-2005, 04:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
Devoted
 
Redlemon's Avatar
 
Donor
Location: New England
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebird
thank goodness no one was hurt.

was the family in the home when it burnt down? if the kids saw it, they might be in need of some comforting / long term counselling. here's why...

when i was 11, there was a fire in my room - at the foot of my bed. i am a very heavy sleeper. i woke to the sound of the fire alarm. thank goodness it didn't spread quickly, or i would be physically scarred for like. as it is, it's only mental. i still can't wake to any sort of beeping alarm - they scare the shit out of me. i went to a counsellor for a while. it didn't make me unafraid, but it did help know what i was afraid of. fear is ok in some cases. and when it comes to fire, fear is good.

so please, make sure these little ones (yours too!) are getting some extra hugs and a bit of wee one mental guidance.
Their 3 year old was home with their nanny, and was napping; the nanny was the one who discovered the fire. Everyone else was out. I'm not sure how much he saw.
__________________
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
Redlemon is offline  
Old 06-22-2005, 04:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
Devoted
 
Redlemon's Avatar
 
Donor
Location: New England
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavus
Clavus' method for imparting difficult truths to children -

Start by telling the truth in a vague or general manner. Allow the kid to ask questions. They will generally ask for more clarity, more specifics. Answer the questions truthfully. Answer specifically what is asked, not what you think is being asked. (listen, goddammit) Allow the kid to get to get as much information as he/she is comfortable with.

If your kids are like mine, expect follow-up questions days or weeks later. Answer them.
Good advice. We are still on the basics. He'll say "Bobby's house broke" in a sad voice. I'll say "yes, but they are OK. They'll get a new house." He'll say "Get new one!" happily. At this point, that seems to be all he needs/wants to hear.
__________________
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
Redlemon is offline  
Old 06-22-2005, 06:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
Evil Priest: The Devil Made Me Do It!
 
Daniel_'s Avatar
 
Location: Southern England
I wrestled for a couple of months with how to tell my (then 3 YO) daughter than Mummy was moving out, and in the face of continued indifference from her mother, I eventually insisted - the day before the move - that we all go to the and explain it to her.

I chose the park as being a neutral place - not Mummys and not mine - but also so tat if she was upset we wouldn't have to worry about "this is the place where you told me bad news" in the house.

She took it very well - ased a couple of questions ("does that mean Mummy doesn't need to make you sad anymore by shouting?") and then wanted to play on the swings.

I realised that kids know far more tan you realise, and understand with more facility tan you might imagine.
__________________
╔═════════════════════════════════════════╗
Overhead, the Albatross hangs motionless upon the air,
And deep beneath the rolling waves,
In labyrinths of Coral Caves,
The Echo of a distant time
Comes willowing across the sand;
And everthing is Green and Submarine

╚═════════════════════════════════════════╝
Daniel_ is offline  
Old 06-26-2005, 10:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
pío pío
 
doodlebird's Avatar
 
Location: on a branch about to break
i do like clavus' advice about letting the children direct the conversation. this seems like it could apply in so many different situations.
__________________
xoxo
doodle
doodlebird is offline  
Old 07-03-2005, 11:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
Banned
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavus
Clavus' method for imparting difficult truths to children -

Start by telling the truth in a vague or general manner. Allow the kid to ask questions. They will generally ask for more clarity, more specifics. Answer the questions truthfully. Answer specifically what is asked, not what you think is being asked. (listen, goddammit) Allow the kid to get to get as much information as he/she is comfortable with.

If your kids are like mine, expect follow-up questions days or weeks later. Answer them.
Not that this is anything new, but clavus is the man.
analog is offline  
Old 07-07-2005, 09:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Minx's Avatar
 
Location: Up yonder
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavus
Clavus' method for imparting difficult truths to children -

Start by telling the truth in a vague or general manner. Allow the kid to ask questions. They will generally ask for more clarity, more specifics. Answer the questions truthfully. Answer specifically what is asked, not what you think is being asked. (listen, goddammit) Allow the kid to get to get as much information as he/she is comfortable with.

If your kids are like mine, expect follow-up questions days or weeks later. Answer them.
This is excellent advice. Children are a lot brighter than we give them credit for. They will ask the questions they need the answers to, and once they are "full" they will stop. You wouldn't want to overwhelm a very young child by explaining too much - this method allows them to take in what they need to in order to understand a difficult situation.

Well said, Clavus.
__________________
You've been a naughty boy....go to my room!
Minx is offline  
Old 07-07-2005, 09:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
Devoted
 
Redlemon's Avatar
 
Donor
Location: New England
Since someone else woke the thread, here's a little update. My son is still mentioning "Bobby's house broke" in casual conversation, but last week, he followed that with "Daddy's house safe".
__________________
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
Redlemon is offline  
 

Tags
bad, explaining, news, toddlers

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:47 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360