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I don't know what to do

(13 Posts)
jade1978 Sun 14-Sep-08 21:29:21

Hi all, not posted on this board before but something really horrible happened today. I have four children dd's aged 9, 2, and 11 months, 1 ds aged 4. A few weeks ago my cat had a litter of kittens they were doing really well and I was allowing the children to see them, (they are upstairs in my room) everything was fine and had no issues until today. I found one of the kittens dead. I assumed it was just one of those things, it was the runt of the litter, very small but seemed to be ok yesterday. My son told me that he had thrown it at the door!!!! which is obviously why its died but he has shown no remorse, I sent him to bed without his treat, convescated his toys and most importantly talked to him about how wrong it was of him to hurt the kitten, but he doesn't seem to care. I don't know what to do or say to let him know how wrong this was, I am so upset and horrified that he has taken the life of an animal. I just hoped someone could give me some advice.

avenanap Sun 14-Sep-08 21:32:02

He's still very young and feelings of empathy sometimes don't kick in until alot later. I would, however, have a chat with your health visitor and see if there's someone he can be refered to.

malfoy Sun 14-Sep-08 21:33:00

That's horrible. I also have a DS aged 4. I am not sure he would understand the consequences of his actions.

I think you should let him see how upset you are and try to explain.

My DS has no idea about death and always assume that I can "fix" things so perhaps your DS not caring is him not understanding.

masalachameleon Sun 14-Sep-08 21:34:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nigglewiggle Sun 14-Sep-08 21:35:53

How awful for you. I think you are doing the right thing by showing him how upset you are and how wrong it is. I have no professional knowledge, but I would say you are doing the right thing. Try discussing it with him again and underlining why it is wrong. Don't go too overboard though, as he might then see it as a way of getting attention.

Miaou Sun 14-Sep-08 21:45:06

At this age children often confuse what actually happened with what they imagine (even at four). It's quite possible that he saw the kitten dead, wondered if someone had killed it, and that mutated into "I killed it". And agree with avenanap, he is too young to understand how that might feel etc! Unless you can get corroborating evidence (ie, someone saw him do it), then I really wouldn't worry. I suspect it being the runt of the litter was far more likely.

Watch him with the other kittens (unobserved by you if possible). If he did do something like that then it would probably show in his behaviour towards the others. Or, indeed, put your mind at rest.

Ds1 often tells me he pushed ds2 over when ds2 is lying down and crying. I would of course believe him if I hadn't seen with my own eyes that ds2 had just fallen over himself!

rachelp73 Sun 14-Sep-08 21:51:32

I was about to say the same as Miaou - how do you know he wasn't throwing it around to try to "wake it up", if he found it already dead. Runt of the litter could possibly have died of natural causes. Do you know that he'd actually visited the kittens on his own for a period of time?

jade1978 Sun 14-Sep-08 22:08:38

I haven't managed to establish whether the kitten was alive/dead at the time it happened i asked my son and he just said the kitten had its eyes open, which they were when I found it. I know he was throwing the kitten my 2year old confirmed it. I really want to believe that the poor thing was already dead, i have been crying all evening, the worst thing was having to phone the lady who had reserved him and tell her her new pet had died.

blithedance Sun 14-Sep-08 22:37:49

Jade how very awful for you.

My 4yo has to be watched with the cat - he threw a bean-bag at her today. I think it's an age when they do get aggressive and have a fascination with violence and are also rather experimental, which is a bad combination when some vulnerable creature is about (assuming of course that he hasn't got his facts confused).

As an isolated instance I wouldn't worry, I think sustained cruelty to animals is generally province of really very insecure children with disturbed backgrounds/attachment problems.

I also get the no remorse thing, or used to a few months ago, I would be telling DS1 off and at my wits end trying to "make" him sorry for what he had done, without actually whacking him one. A few months older and it will be different. If you repeatedly deny him time with the kittens/cat it may sink in eventually. Don't take it too much to heart but sad for you.

calypsoblue Sun 14-Sep-08 23:11:42

Just had my 4 year old nephew to stay with his parents when he wasnt pulling at every part of my dog ,who behaved like a saint he was trying to turn over my 4 month old baby sons cot with him in it!wake him any form possible i.e loud noises ,screaming in his ear,pulling his dummy out of his mouth, and forcing it back in ,pulling on his legs arms e.t.c. They only stayed for 4 days and in between protecting my son and my dog it was probably the most stressful time i have had in a long time. I dont think he is an evil child just had no concept how to treat a baby or animals or what it means to harm anything.

cory Sun 14-Sep-08 23:45:16

When dd was 3.6 I did not dare to leave her alone with her baby brother- and probably wouldn't have done so with a defenceless animal either. I locked the door on the baby when I went to the loo, after she had made definite experimental moves. Just lack of maturity, nothing wrong with her. She has since grown into a very mature, caring, responsible pre-teen.

I'd put a lock on the door if I were you.

jade1978 Mon 15-Sep-08 10:31:39

I didn't know whether to mention it to his teacher this morning (he just started reception last week) in case he mentioned it, but I couldn't bring myself to say anything, as feel to much like a bad parent. Thanks to everyone for responding, have been awake most of the night thinking about it.

HonoriaGlossop Mon 15-Sep-08 11:14:04

I agree with Miaou that he may not be telling you the truth anyway. And with Cory that this is about lack of maturity basically.

Please don't worry about your son.

This is not a dreadful issue to do with him. This is a parenting issue. You need to have systems in place (eg Cory's suggestion of lock on door) that mean a child this young isn't unsupervised around tiny animals.

Your ds is too young to have a full understanding of death even. It's not about him, honestly.

Just learn from it in future - it's YOUR issue (and I don't mean that in a blaming way, just that this is something for YOU to learn from more than your DS tbh, IMHO)

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