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Concerned about some of ds' comments

(48 Posts)
Nicol06 Mon 22-May-06 05:51:33

I have a lovely ds who will be turning 6 in a couple of months, he's in his first year of school. As far as I'm concerned we have a good relationship and he is very much loved by both myself and my dh. We are affectionate with him, I dedicate a lot of my time to him and he doesn't want for anything, so basically he is the light of my life

Anyway I am concerned by a couple of things he's said recently. A few days ago he said "If you and Daddy weren't here, if you went to heaven and I was still here, I'd be ok. I'd look after myself." It was something to the effect that he would just do what he wants to do if dh and I weren't here anymore, but strangely enough he seemed 'ok' with the idea. Then I asked him a couple of days ago whether he would miss Mummy if I wasn't here, and he said 'No'! I felt so hurt & taken aback by it. He wasn't in a bad mood or anything, it was just general conversation. I tell him every day that I love him and he always tells me he loves me too, so I really don't understand this. In every other way he seems fine and he's quite a happy, jovial child, but I don't understand how he can be so cool, calm and collected by the thought of his parents being gone permanently

I told my friend about it today and she feels that he should've displayed more emotion about the thought of losing his parents. She said her own son (7) became very upset once at the thought of anything happening to her. Now I'm a bit more concerned about it but don't know how to interpret what he's said or why. He's a very independent child, always has been, but I would've thought that at his age, his parents would be the centre of his universe. Can anyone give me any thoughts on this or whether their own children have seemed 'detached' about something like this before? I keep thinking about it & wondering why he feels like this

suzywong Mon 22-May-06 07:06:29

I think you are mapping the intensity of your emotion on to him, and that is what is making you feel cheated of a big emotional response - and tbh I 'm not sure why you want one, you seem to be a very secure and demonstrative famly. He's a boy, he's 6, he probably thinks heaven is like a holiday resort and does not grasp the finality of death. He probably thinks he could reach the bread bin and the milk by himself and change in to his PJs and that's the extent of "looking after himself".
Give him and yourself a break. And stop being so morbid


Nicol06 Mon 22-May-06 07:23:18

ER... thanks.. I think.

I don't think I'm being morbid as I hadn't even thought about this subject until ds made the comment the other day. It's nothing we've ever even discussed before. Then when my friend said she thought it was a bit odd, I started to worry about it I guess.

What I was really asking, is whether or not I should be concerned at all, or whether it's an unusual comment for a young child to make. If not (if no one else seems concerned by it), then I would just let it go as one of those things that children say sometimes.

But I do have to say though - surely a lot of children would be horrified at the thought of losing their parents?! Perhaps my son is on a different wavelength or something, or perhaps he just doesn't care

Raggydoll Mon 22-May-06 07:23:47

i agree with sw. he can't possibly understand what it means to have both parents die so how can he respond in an appropiate emotional manner. he's obviously feeling very secure in his environment so although he may seem detached, you should be proud that he feels loved and secure enough to literally 'not have a care in the world'

trinityrhino Mon 22-May-06 07:30:38

my daughter would be absolutely mortified, she is also six., BUT I think the difference is that, as you have just mentioned, you haven't really had these conversations before.
My DD is acutley aware that heaven is somewhere you go and NEVER come back. Not because I thought it would be important to scare her but her Grandpa, who she was VERY close to died last year and through many conversations mostly initiated byt her she has come to realise that she will NEVER see him again.

If this sort of thing hasn't happened to your DS then he may not have a full comprehension that if yiou went to heaven you wouldn't be coming back.
I would say that also this reaction that he feels he would be fine is probably a good thing, inasmuch as he isn't going to constantly be worrying your suddenly going to die.
My DD sometimes seems too sensitive about these things, she takes after me and is very sensitive.
I wouldn't worry, to me it does seem one of many reactions to this kind of thought that are all normal.

I strongly beleive that he just doesn't really understand fully what you mean about 'not being here anymore'.
He is seeming very confident and secure to me.

Tortington Mon 22-May-06 08:32:58

you dont know the phycological stuff going on - maybe its his way of coping with the idea of you not being there.

Twiglett Mon 22-May-06 08:36:56

agree completely with Suzywong down to the 'stop being so morbid' comment

seems you have a desire for something to be wrong .. even though you've patently brought up a confident, articulate and secure child ... well done to you .. I can't see anything wrong in his response .. if he was 16 and had the emotional maturity that comes with being through puberty and had this detatchment then I'd be slightly more concerned

how should a 6 year old be expected to grasp the concept of being an orphan .. and why would you want him to be able to

bluejelly Mon 22-May-06 08:43:06

I think six year olds often have very sophisticated language skills but not the brain power to understand the significance of what they are saying.
My 6 yo dd told me the other day that I was 'messing her life up' . Felt dreadful. Sat down for a 'big talk'. Turns out she felt that cos i don't let her stay up to 9pm at the weekend!
Honestly I wouldn't worry abouut it...

Nicol06 Mon 22-May-06 08:44:06

Twiglett did you actually read my last response to suzywong??? I had never even considered raising this subject before DS came out with these comments out of the blue one day. It was a complete shock that he was even thinking about it. We don't even discuss it with him, the only 'death' in his life so far has been his pet cat and that's when he was 3, so he's probably too young to even remember it.

Your comment "seems you have a desire for something to be wrong" really offends me. I can't believe you can construe that from the short couple of posts that I've written, when nothing could be further from the truth. You don't even know me. Perhaps that comment is best ignored

Nicol06 Mon 22-May-06 08:52:49

Thank you bluejelly and everyone else for the constructive advice. If it wasn't for my friend's comments, then I wouldn't have even posted about it. Guess it was best taken with a grain of salt and left at that.

Nicol06 Mon 22-May-06 08:54:25

Thank you bluejelly and everyone else for the constructive advice. If it wasn't for my friend's comments, then I wouldn't have even posted about it. Guess it was best taken with a grain of salt and left at that.

suzywong Mon 22-May-06 09:58:10

Twiglett, come and stand in the naughty corner with me

Poshpaws Mon 22-May-06 10:36:19

Nicol06, I agrree with suzywong and twiglett.

My DS1 always talks about death in a matter of fact way or 'get dead' as he says. 'If you and Daddy were to get dead, I would look after DS2' he has told me.

He is 4.5, btw, and I have spoken to other mums who say that their kids are the same, so please try not to worry too much .

katierocket Mon 22-May-06 11:54:16

I agree with suzy et al. I don't think you need to worry about this too much. My DS often comes out with things that surprise me because I had no idea it was even in his head IFYKWIM. I don't think what your friend said was that helpful TBH

Twiglett Mon 22-May-06 11:59:07

well I'm sorry if I offended you but I stand by what I said .. and yes it was just from reading the first post

one can only respond to a question from a starting point of personal knowledge and experience

From my own experience of people I read your post as someone who was slightly concerned by what a child said to them but would probably have let it go if a 'friend' had not reinforced the absolutely daft initial impression that there was something wrong

I find it is best to face those kinds of friends with a large pinch of salt .. and respond to this kind of worry with a fgs pull your socks up and get on with it

if you get angry at my response that's your choice

many people would appreciate the honesty (that you don't often get in RL situations) .. otherwise why post??

<standing with suzy in norty corner PMSL>

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Mon 22-May-06 12:03:25

I can see why the responses wound you up- chill girls!

FWIW I think you have a silly friend. I used to have friends that enjoyed saying things like this but I binned them all.

Sounds to me like your son just hasn't experienced death so it hasn't occured to him. DS2 keeps banging on about death at the moment but only because 2 of his great-grandparents died this year. Once he knew that we would all live together one day in heaven he was fine, not upset or anthing.

Tommy Mon 22-May-06 12:04:11

my DS (4) came out with something like this yesterday - "when you and Daddy are in heaven. I'll be able to do what I like..." (i.e. not have to sit at the table and eat food generally!). He knows about death and heaven but has absoultely no idea about what it really means.
Of course you DS would miss you like hell if you both died and he wouldn't be OK - it's just that you know that and he doesn't, because he's only 5

cod Mon 22-May-06 12:05:51

Message withdrawn

Kathy1972 Mon 22-May-06 12:07:52

Nicol, when I was about 6 I told my parents I wanted to be an orphan (probably explained by the fact that in the comics I used to read the heroines were always orphans).
I think I probably hadn't thought it through....

FairyMum Mon 22-May-06 12:09:27

Agree with Twiglet I'm afraid. I find it odd that you asked him if he would miss you if you were gone too.
Of course he would miss you. I think it's quite needy and insecure to having to hear him say so.

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Mon 22-May-06 12:11:44

erm was your friend trying to suggest that there was something developmentally up or something? If so I can understand why it bothered you (been there done that), but seriously did just dump one particular friend like that!

cardy Mon 22-May-06 12:13:27

I think i can only echo what others have said. Children aged 6 don't quite understand the immensity of death. E.g. my dd (4.5) often plays 'princess' where she is killed/dead then wakes up, then dies again etc. We have explained in as simple way as possible (mainly because of dead pets etc.) about death but I don't really think she's ready to understand or indeed comprehend death just yet.

Nicol06 Mon 22-May-06 12:31:12

Twiglett - I think you need to learn the difference between an honest post and an offensive one. While people may appreciate a certain degree of honesty I DON'T think they appreciate a stranger making ridiculous judgments about them. Thank you for your apology, but truly, perhaps you could try and find a less aggressive way of wording your posts. Why did I post in the first place??? For honest answers of course, but not for that kind of response, thank you very much. I'm glad Jimjams at least understands why I was annoyed.

Thanks so much Tommy, that's the kind of context in which my ds meant it, I'm sure. Sort of like "I can do what I want when you're gone", and "no, I won't miss you". I guess it kind of threw me Anyway, I appreciate all the responses & I'm glad to hear that other kids say this kind of thing. Jimjams you're right, perhaps my friend is just 'silly' and I just shouldn't have listened to her - will take it with a grain of salt in future.

Twiglett Mon 22-May-06 12:35:57

I didn't really apologise .. at least it wasn't truly meant as an 'oh I did that wrong sorry' it was meant as an 'oh I'm sorry if you managed to interpret it that way'

I actually think its you who needs to apologise and indeed 'get a grip'

suzywong Mon 22-May-06 12:36:18

<very very tempted to roll out annoying catchphrase at this moment in time>

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