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Aibu to feel uncomfortable with ds homework?

(54 Posts)
ThePickledPoet Wed 07-Jan-15 09:17:23

Hi, my 7 year old son came home with this poem to read and then had to write about his own/family/friends pet (name, likes/dislikes, and any story whether it be that they've lost a pet or an amusing story...)
I'm not sure I like the thought of a 7 year old reading about a dead cat!
I think I'm being over sensitive and last night I just let him get on with it (he didn't find it upsetting or anything, and wrote a story about our pet) so I didnt make an issue of it.
I'm just wondering what you make of it?

Cat's Funeral
E.V. Rieu

Bury her deep, down deep,
Safe in the earth's cold keep.
Bury her deep--

No more to watch bird stir;
No more to clean dark fur;
No more to glisten as silk;
No more to revel in milk;
No more to purr.

Bury her deep, down deep;
She is beyond warm sleep.
She will not walk in the night;
She will not wake to the light.
Bury her deep.

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Wed 07-Jan-15 09:19:40

Well that's fucking creepy.

Lazymummy2014 Wed 07-Jan-15 09:20:04

It's a beautiful poem. If it's not upsetting your ds then I'd assume the teacher is handling it sensitively. Go with it.

Floggingmolly Wed 07-Jan-15 09:21:49

It is creepy...

Goingintohibernation Wed 07-Jan-15 09:22:10

YANBU. That is a bit much for a class of 7 year olds!

ThePickledPoet Wed 07-Jan-15 09:23:02

Thanks smile he's not bothered by it thankfully (I think I just want to wrap him up in cotton wool!) I just thought what a strange piece to give to 7 year olds! Xx

Hakluyt Wed 07-Jan-15 09:24:30

Why is it "creepy"? It's sad, and evocative, and might I agree be a bit much for some 7 year olds, but creepy?????

pieceofpurplesky Wed 07-Jan-15 09:25:35

To be fair most 7 year olds would love this despite it being creepy. One if the strands of PSHE is covered by this poem, in high school I cover it with funeral Blues and Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep

DropYourSword Wed 07-Jan-15 09:25:57

I don't know, maybe it's not such a bad idea to introduce them to the concept that pets die though. But that poem is a bit creepy, bury them in the cold earth etc. It's not exactly comforting!

MissDuke Wed 07-Jan-15 09:26:27

Of all the millions of poems to choose from, I am unsure why you would pick that. I am certain that would upset my ds.

Hamper Wed 07-Jan-15 09:26:29

Hmm, I am not sure if you Abu or not but this would certainly upset my ds. We lost a dog last year and as he has asd he never really processed it and the smallest mention sends him into fits of sobs. sad

MrsTawdry Wed 07-Jan-15 09:28:01

I agree that it's a tad mawkish of the teacher to choose that poem. Yes it is a nice poem but there are THOUSANDS of lovely ones about life...joy...playing....living. I think 7 year olds do not need to be thinking about death unless it comes knocking and affects them personally...then poems like that are useful.

Imo she or he has made a mistake.

Floggingmolly Wed 07-Jan-15 09:28:28

Not creepy in itself; just for a class of 7 year old's.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Wed 07-Jan-15 09:31:45

I think it's an interesting poem. Not at all creepy.

Bit sad for 7 yr olds but not insurmountable.

An odd choice though if the topic is pets, friends and family. I guess understanding loss is important but to begin from that point seems rather bleak confused

ThePickledPoet Wed 07-Jan-15 09:32:44

That was my thought (of all the poems out there) but like you all, we want to wrap them up safe and protect them from upsetting things in the world, but death is something that is a part of life I suppose hmm I just don't think i was ready for this step!!
I'm glad he wasn't upset that's why I just left it be smile
Thanks for all of your replies though! I thought I was being silly xxx

Gautami Wed 07-Jan-15 09:36:23

We lost a cat last year and this would have dd in tears.

I would be asking why the connection with death is necessary? This poem is more about death/burial than it is about a pet.

I imagine the teacher has not yet been involved with a grieving/bereaved child yet. I would have a quiet word; I imagine others will need to.

Madamecastafiore Wed 07-Jan-15 09:36:38

Best thing you can do is speak to children abut death as early as possible and losing pets and relatives come as far less of a shock when it does happen and they are far more able to cope.

I've seen 14 year olds admitted with depression because their cat died and then their grandparent died only to find out later that they were so shielded from the realities of death that they did not have the capacity to cope with it.

thegreylady Wed 07-Jan-15 09:41:32

At that age Goodbye Mog is as much as they need about the death of a pet. I think the teacher has looked for a poem which is accessible in terms of reading ability and vocabulary without really thinking about the actual content. There are whole books of animal poems better suited to stimulate creative writing in Year2.

3bunnies Wed 07-Jan-15 09:41:42

My 7yr old would love it. She hates happy endings in stories. Her teacher's comment on one piece of work was that it would be better with a happy ending which dd dismissed as sentimental rubbish. Having said that she has never lost anyone or anything close to her. I think that if a child has then that poem could be quite upsetting for them.

Stinkle Wed 07-Jan-15 09:48:17

As others have said, out of all the poems out there.....

If my DD2 had been given it, we'd have ended up with a massively upset child in floods of tears.

She has horrendous anxiety (currently with CAMHS) and one of her big things is her hamster dying. We've lost 2 cats in the last 2 years and even now she gets incredibly upset about it.

We've never shielded our kids from death, but the death of a pet is one of her triggers

I don't know, it just seems a bit of an unnecessarily upsetting poem to choose to go with the topic when there's plenty of others to choose from

Tanith Wed 07-Jan-15 11:30:10

I remember studying a horrible poem about kittens being drowned in a bucket when I was at school. We were 12 then, though. Still upset a fair few in the class.

However, I think, at 7, most children are quite matter of fact about death and it is something they do need to learn about.
I have personally known 3 children who have died before this age in the past few years - one a child I cared for - and two mums who have died. Each time, the young children have needed help understanding what had happened and some have been very frightened and shocked. Best to prepare them, I feel.

HoundoftheBaskervilles Wed 07-Jan-15 11:32:34

Tanith, you don't mean this one do you?

For A Five-Year Old

A snail is climbing up the window-sill
into your room, after a night of rain.
You call me in to see, and I explain
that it would be unkind to leave it there:
it might crawl to the floor; we must take care
that no one squashes it. You understand,
and carry it outside, with careful hand,
to eat a daffodil.

I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails:
your gentleness is moulded still by words
from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,
from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed
your closest relatives, and who purveyed
the harshest kind of truth to many another.
But that is how things are: I am your mother,
and we are kind to snails.

(1967. Fleur Adcock. b.1934)

I think it's a beautiful poem, one of my favourites.

OfaFrenchMind Wed 07-Jan-15 11:33:26

3bunnies is you DD called Wednesday? She sound quite awesome smile

It's a good poem, and at 7, a child should be able to deal poems and writings like that. Lion King is not much cheerier at some points!
Don't shelter your children too much, you are setting them up for failure or unnecessary fragility.

shovetheholly Wed 07-Jan-15 11:49:54

I just found out that my cat is terminally ill and doesn't have long left. The poem had me in tears and I am 37! (It's not creepy, by the way. It's a powerful poem that registers the physical side of death and loss without any saccharine gloss).

However, this is part of life. Pets die. People die. It is normal, natural, yet agonisingly painful at the same time. But it is, for those very reasons, important that we don't wall it off as an unnatural or unusual experience, that we talk about and explore it, that we allow ourselves space to cry and to grieve as we need to, and that we don't pathologise it.

Thinking about the death of animals can be a first introduction to death for many children. Exploring what grief is, how it might feel, is an important part of growing up. It is also vital for empathy. Though your child may not have experienced the death of a pet or a loved one, he or she undoubtedly will in time - such is the sad reality of things. A lesson like this can help them to begin to understand the issues, and to empathize with other children who may be less fortunately sheltered from loss. They are just at the age where they have the emotional capacity to start dealing with it, too.

I would bet that a child in this class has recently experienced the death of a loved one or a pet and is struggling, and that this lesson may be helpful for the whole group.

TiedUpWithString Wed 07-Jan-15 11:58:22

Its quite a humanist sounding poem. Maybe that's why it give you the creeps? The air of finality?

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