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to introduce the concept of death to my 3yo DD

(9 Posts)
freemilly Fri 15-Jul-11 20:17:12

...because she ran out on a road today and thought it was funny. She is normally so good in terms of road sense. We used to insist on holding hands at every road but because she's got the hang of it, I don't insist on it at every road, only the busy ones. The road she ran out on today was a side road but still gets traffic from the busier main road.

I made her wear reins all the way home which she hasn't worn for maybe a year and she threw tantrums about it the whole way home. I hope this is enough and it gets through to her. I just had a chat with her at bedtime and she wasn't getting the fact that if a car knocks her down she won't just get a sore head or a sore arm and then wear reins home.

I tell her that the car will squash her but how can I tell her its more serious than that or do I even need to? She hasn't even seen a spider get squashed so I can't explain it to her like that. Any ideas?

Just the thought of it makes me feel sick.

ajandjjmum Fri 15-Jul-11 20:18:41

I'd go more the hurt badly and have to go to hospital and upset Mummy route.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 15-Jul-11 20:22:20

No need for death to be a taboo subject, but a little more along the lines of what ajandjj says would be more appropriate in this situation I think.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jul-11 20:36:39

In this context, I think AJ is right. The concept of her own death would be too much.

However, its not a bad idea to introduce the concept of death to a child at about this age, especially if they have elderly relatives or a beloved dog or cat. Dealing with the death of something like a goldfish (buried in garden with due ceremony) can be a helpful introduction.

diggingintheribs Fri 15-Jul-11 20:46:28

I think the concept of death can be overwhelming for a child that age and I wouldn't introduce it in this context

you will get a lot of questions and before you know it you will be outside the realm of road safety and trying to answer some questions that some academics spend careers failing to get to the bottom of

I'd go down AJ's route

With DS we played with his toy cars to show how fast things knock things over worse than a slow car. We then talked about how big and hard our car is and imagined it going fast. He is very good but is still forgetful and I am very insistent he holds hands at all crossings

I would say you have to hold at every road. She is too young to have a sense of difference between the busy roads and the side roads so this could just confuse her. Also, I find the side roads can be more dangerous as you always get an idiot bombing down it

freemilly Fri 15-Jul-11 20:59:43

thanks for your responses, really helpful. Like the idea about the cars digging and also the bloody obvious point about DD not getting the difference between busy and quiet roads. Looks like we're back to holding hands at every road and getting a goldfish!

diggingintheribs Fri 15-Jul-11 21:02:29

also, have you done the stop, look, listen with her? DS does this in a very exaggerated way now which is quite funny!

freemilly Fri 15-Jul-11 21:05:39

yes we have, we used to do the whole exaggerated, 'anything coming this way, anything coming that way. no, okay lets cross the road'. We don't do this so much anymore. I really thought it had sunk in and we didn't need to do it all the time. We will now though!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 15-Jul-11 21:32:35

Children aren't able to judge to speed of a vehicle accurately until they're a good bit older - about 7 or 8 I think which is also something to bear in mind.

3 is still very young and I still hold my 3 and 5 year olds hands to cross roads.

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