5 year old asking questions about death....upset!(37 Posts)
To begin with...I am pregnant so a bit more sensitive and emotional than usual!
My son (5) started asking questions about dying recently.....and started saying things like "I'm not going to die for at least.......a year...." ( which I found really upsetting although of course rationally I understand that he just said that because for him a year is an unimaginably long time but of course as a pregnant mother I thought oh no I don't want my little boy to only be here for another year) we then talked about how death happens when people are much much older etc.
I just wanted some reassurance and hand holding really that other children say and ask similar things because I have a tendency when pregnant to panic that things are "signs" or "warnings" and feel quite distressed.
Hope that made sense! Please be gentle.....I'm not depressed or over anxious or anything....I am just one of those people who get emotional in pregnancy and struggles. I will go back to my rational self once baby is born....but just right now I could do with some reassurance.
Absolutely normal. Almost all children say this kind of thing.
The only thing it's a sign of is that his level.of understanding is developing
you do sound slightly over anxious - honestly it's a perfectly normal stage of development
I wouldn't put age limits on death or anything though - it's not true
Just say yes dear!
Bless you OP, it isn't nice to hear things like that because to us the thought of our child actually dying ever is an awful thought. Just remember that it is meaningless words, like you say he doesn't understand how long a year even is and he's probably just curious about death etc.
If it's any consolation my 3 year old reassured me the other day that when the police went past nursery on horses that they didn't shoot everyone. I was relieved!
It's really normal, I think! Ds2 (6.5yrs) came up to me the other day, in floods of tears and out of the blue said he didn't want to die! He really was very upset. It's a sudden realisation that you'll die one day. Mortality is sad but you can reassure him that he won't die for a very very long time and he'll have a wonderfully happy exciting life before then.
Completely normal. Year R and Year 1 they talk about death a LOT.
My 5yo DC currently believes you die when you are 100yo.
He sounds completely normal to me, he's processing something he's learned. Logically you know thats true, he cant even understand a year.
When my son was four he started saying he wished my dad would die! It really doesn't mean anything... but your reaction can let them know something is wrong so try not to react too much.
be warned - with my 3 the next stage was religious fanaticism and a firm belief in Jesus - that lasted about 6 weeks ...then it was minecraft
Oh my son was obsessed with death for a while as we had a few deaths including pets in the family when he was 5
He worked out that the older you are the more likely you are to die. For 2 years now he has been saying his great great grandma will be dead soon as she's well old (95)
He asks at least once a week.
He went through a stage of saying I will die when I'm 30. I guess that seems super old to him
He knows people can die when super poorly or injured in an accident. He told
School I was a zombie because I got run over and I'm still here.
Just smile and nod. Kids are weird
Maybe he'd heard something about an ill child or picked up a snippet from the news. Or maybe it's just the random stuff 5 year olds say!
Totally normal for them to ask and want to talk about it. It's not a 'sign' or a 'warning' at all - so try to forget about it.
Hopefully his next questions will be about something less heavy ....like snails or Lego!
I feel for you OP and I'm exactly the same, being pregnant and having kids made me feel incredibly mortal and the extra ramped up emotions definitely do not help currently pregnant with #2 and not as emotional as before but def more than usual! An old boyfriend of mine died recently and I cried a lot- tried to hide it from DS but you know what kids are like! In the interest of being honest I told him an old friend of mummy's had died and he went on to try and re-enact how a person dies... (Literally by falling to the floor) Obviously it's always innocent they don't really understand but that did quite upset me even further try to keep calm and distract yourself as best you can, take deep breaths and focus on a different topic. Maybe not very helpful but it's what I try to do xx
It's completely normal for kids to start being aware of death at about this age. It's really difficult to get the balance right between honesty and protecting him from too much truth. It sounds like you're doing/saying all the right things to be reassuring to him. Of course all this is not in any sense any kind of "woo" warning.
My five year old going through a terrible phase of asking people's ages and then telling them if they are likely to die soon or not. Fortunately his great grandmother can't really hear him clearly enough to understand what he has to say on the subject.
My 5yo DD talks about death all the time, and I just answer matter of factly (without going into details about premature death, illness etc). I think it's a stage
I vividly remember being around the same age and asking my dad when he was going to die. He said "oh, not for a long time." And I pressed him for a number and he said something like "Not for about 35 years," which I found enormously comforting, as even waiting two months for Christmas seemed like an eternity at 5 or 6.
Just want to let you know you arent alone in feeling like this. When not pregnant im pretty rational/ happy/ nothing really matters and im the furthest from depressed as you could be. Ive just had dc1 and when I was pregnant I have never felt emotions like it. I know exactly what you mean about signs and warnings ect, when I read that in your post it rang familar bells for me. Especially coming from children, my goddaughter (7 but sn) asked me when I was 6 months if my baby had died yet. I was convinced baby was going to die then cos after all, kids ARE physcic. My ds is now with me and although has been a little poorly due to being a little premature he is thriving as am I and was back to my usual self within a few days. Pregnancy is a bitch and I bloody hated it- would rather of been sick than have constant battles with my thoughts.
Normal. Kids need to make sense of death in their own way, nothing to worry about.
When dd was around 4, she suddenly asked me one day if I would still love her when I was dead! Must admit, I was a bit annoyed by the question!
Annoyed? I wasn't annoyed, I was stumped. Bloody swipe text!
Perhaps a classmate has lost a grandparent or even a pet. Kids talk about things. To a child death isn't a terrifying taboo. They are much more sanguine about it than most adults.
BTW I'm exactly as you describe when pg or just post partum.
Perhaps a little reading of something like "Goodbye Mog" or "The Dancing Tiger". Maybe once baby is here (or you might end up upset!)
It's a frequent topic for my 5 almost 6 year old. I try to answer as matter of factly as possible, along the lines of people die when they are told, or if they get very very ill (had a bereavement of a relatively young family member so this comes up) but you are a healthy boy so you don't need to worry' etc. He is morbid though! And it is shocking at times when he just comes out with comments when you least expect, speculates about who will die next etc! Other favourite topics at the moment are evolution and space, and religion vs science. he's definitely a thinker! And ends up asking so many questions you end up embroiled in concepts that are really difficult to explain in a child friendly way. Try not to let it upset you - although even as a non-pregnant person it can be a bit breathtaking. I sometimes just insist on a change of subject if he's asking questions I know he knows the answer to (as opposed to needing reassurance about).
Thank you everyone....those were exactly the responses I needed to read. I spoke to my mum also and feel much better. Thanks again.
We have 'what does it mean when you're dead' which is a bit of a tricky one first thing in the morning while you're still wondering why you are awake before the sun is up! Lots of questions about how long different things live for and what it feels like to be dead - I try and answer as honestly as I can and am happy to say 'nobody really knows' when that's the truth!
My 5 year old intermittently asks about death and has for quite a while since he realised that DH and I had mums, but not dads. It was a bit awkward at first as we didn't want him to fear that his dad was going to die in a hurry.
He understands that people die if their bodies are too broken to heal, usually when they are very old, but sometimes very, very ill or an accident. (He's very mechanically minded)
The only issue that I've shirked is people killing themselves. I edited out a paragraph on that theme from Matilda about Miss Honey's dad as I didn't want to trigger questions on that theme.
We've just been tackling this very point as one of our CM's rabbits sadly had to be PTS yesterday. DD is nearly 7 and sort of gets it but DS is 3 and really doesn't. Funnily enough the same day we picked an episode of Bing which featured a butterfly dying which was really well done.
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