to not want my daughter to be learning about WW1 at 4?

(26 Posts)
superbean Mon 16-Jun-14 19:57:40

My daughter came home from playgroup this afternoon distraught about WW1. All afternoon we've had tears about the soldiers dying, me dying, friends whose parents are soldiers dying. I have no reason to think the staff would not have spoken about this sensitively but I actually wondered if this is really a topic for pre-schoolers. She has asked about death before but I would not have said she is a sensitive child before today, although she seems quite switched on. I will speak to the staff but has anyone else had this recently? I really don't know where to start trying to explain anything about the topic to a child of this age.

Weathergames Mon 16-Jun-14 20:03:56

If it hadn't happened she would also be learning in German smile

superbean Mon 16-Jun-14 20:07:42

Ha! Not sure that'll clarify things for her.

theuncivilservant79 Mon 16-Jun-14 20:11:54

Yanbu. Dd1 is 4 and I would have challenged the nursery. I had a thread years back objecting to rememberence stuff ring displayed in the baby room in our nursery. Bloody absurd.

Molotov Mon 16-Jun-14 20:14:33

My (sensitive and intelligent) 5yo dd attended assembly on the anniversary of D-Day which set her mind racing.

Avoidance and distraction is key. I massively gloss over stuff and do not dwell on the grim stuff. I think it's's best for her to remain innocent for just a little longer.

Molotov Mon 16-Jun-14 20:16:09

Btw, I know D-Day is WWII, but the same principles apply. As with death, and dinosaurs smile

Snowcherriesfromfrance Mon 16-Jun-14 20:17:47

My ds (5 last week so a younger one in reception) loves learning about ww1 and ww2. And anything where people get shot and die hmm
He went up to a lady selling poppies last year and said 'hitler would have liked me because I've got blond hair and blue eyes' and I wanted to die a little bit myself.

However my ds is very much like Ben out of outnumbered and is obsessed with battling and war and history so his opinion probably doesn't count.
It does seem very young. I would think ks1 is really the earliest they should be introducing it.

soverylucky Mon 16-Jun-14 20:19:01

YANBU - Four is too young.

gamescompendium Mon 16-Jun-14 20:21:08

When the DDs were at nursery they did learn about remembrance day but it was just 'we remember the people who fought in the war' and painting poppies. Don't think they realised war is about people dying, I think it is possible to introduce the concept of war in early years without making the death aspect explicit. I guess it's difficult to judge though, some kids are more likely to grasp what happens in war than others and therefore find it very upsetting.

Lepaskilf Mon 16-Jun-14 20:22:38

Wow, big subject for 4yr olds! Although I am happy to chat to my 4yr old about sensitive subject such as death. So far in school they have learnt about pirates, beaches, boats, spring, dinosaurs etc etc..... Nothing too serious!

Snowcherriesfromfrance Mon 16-Jun-14 20:26:18

Worryingly ds knows what happens in war but doesn't seem to find it upsetting!
Other current topics of obsession: The Spanish Armada, the Titanic and Guy Fawkes.

insancerre Mon 16-Jun-14 20:30:20

Yanbu
What a stupid topic to be covering
I run a nursery and we follow the children's interests
We have done dinosaurs, pirates, superheroes, frozen, princesses, fairies, football, etc
No way would we even consider ww1 as a topic.
Are the staff actually qualified ?

tunnocksteacake Mon 16-Jun-14 20:39:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BMW6 Mon 16-Jun-14 20:40:20

Good grief!! YADNBU - 4 is years too young to be learning about this stuff.

I think 12 would be te earliest appropiate age.

Weathergames Mon 16-Jun-14 20:42:44

12?! Blimey! Slightly over protective!

My OH is in the forces so all of our DC know why we have Remembrance Day.

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 20:44:31

YANBU - it's not going to mean much to a 4 year old, what is the point?

EurotrashGirl Mon 16-Jun-14 20:46:13

Snow my DB's favorite book at that age was about the amphibious landing vehicles used in the D-Day attack.

claig Mon 16-Jun-14 20:47:39

Might this be down to Gove's influence or something?

Snowcherriesfromfrance Mon 16-Jun-14 20:50:42

That makes me feel slightly better Euro mine currently enjoys a book about the Titanic and a book about other ill fated boats.
He also has a book on ww1 from a child's perspective and likes that too.

I would like go go back to having nice picture stories!

2old2beamum Mon 16-Jun-14 20:55:42

Can see where you are coming from but at the same age as your DD I learnt a lot of my mother's family had died in a camp. It was horrendous I remember the horror more than anything else.

claig you are probably right

claig Mon 16-Jun-14 20:56:33

I usually am wink

Artandco Mon 16-Jun-14 20:59:11

I think it's fine tbh. It's stuff mine see all the time in museums/ on statues/ in books. They are 3 and 4. They ask questions and we answer. They just see it as real day knights! Ie the other day we were walking through Hyde park and happened to walk past the 7/7 London bombings memorial. They asked what it was and why? I feel it's better to answer truthfully as age appropriate than just lie or ignore

superbean Mon 16-Jun-14 21:16:31

Thanks for your comments. It's not answering questions truthfully that I object to, or talking about death. I'm just not sure how you can teach anything about war to children with no concept of country or politics.

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 21:20:37

I'm not sure I'd want a child to think of war as like knights - a fairytale or something from a story book.

Children should know about the world wars, but not until they are able to grasp what it really means imo - as the OP says, how is a pre-schooler who doesn't have a concept of countries or politics supposed to appreciate the gravity of millions dying in a war confused

I recall my best friend at nursery (we must have been 3/4) telling me how her mother had been murdered - strangled - on the stairs of their house by her cousin.

She told me quite matter of factly and I absorbed the information in the same manner. It wasn't until years later that I thought, "oh £$!@"!

Do young children really get worked up over such abstract concepts as the long dead? confused

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