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My hamster's dead... what to do about ds (3)?

(11 Posts)
Picante Wed 26-Aug-09 18:08:06

Haven't done anything yet he's still in his cage. Do I tell ds and let him see him and bury him, or do I quietly get dispose of him and tell him in the morning?

I'm not very good with dead animals so I'd quite like a quick solution which doesn't involve me touching him sad.

I've already talked to ds about the fact he was on his way out, and he got upset - I don't want to show him something that would upset him iyswim.

He's 3 and a half...

ChookKeeper Wed 26-Aug-09 18:38:37

I wouldn't show him to be honest - they do go a bit manky after a few hours (sorry to be blunt). If you've already prepared your ds then I would just bury the hamster and tell your ds tomorrow. If he asks where the hamster is then show him the grave and use the chance to do the "what happens when we die" talk.

Hope he's not too upset but that he remembers the hamster with fondness.

123andaway Wed 26-Aug-09 18:44:53

In my experience the death of hamsters (birds and other small creatures), involves a full cerimonial burial in the garden, complete with hymns and flowers. Followed by a hasty trip to the pet shop. That said DC's are a fair bit older than your DS.

It's a tough call weather he would be more upset by Hammy just dissapearing or a dead Hammy.

I would personally be tempted to wrap him up in tissue in a small box and conduct a simple little burial for him. Your DS may want to see him, in which case I would open the box and let him give him a little stroke, but I wouldn't offer, I'd wait and see if he asks.

Hope DS isn't too upset.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 26-Aug-09 18:50:33

Bury him tonight once DS has gone to bed. If you tell him now he might not sleep.

Tell him in the morning that hammy has died but didn't he have a lovely life and didn't you have a lot of fun together?

Do you have to tell him??

morethanyoubargainfor Wed 26-Aug-09 18:54:27

personally i would let him be involved in the whole thing, i would let him see her and to help with the burying of her. I think children should be involved in all parts of animals lives, not just the nice bits. I also at his age he should cope with it, children are much more resillient than us adults give them credit for.

He will need closure or he will find it difficult to process the whole life/death cycle. i think it all helps with the developing understanding of the world around them.
But that is just me, and probably the reason i have a child who isn't frightened by death and dying in humans or animals and one who is perfectly aware of his own and everyone else mortality.

Sorry to hear about poor hammy.

Picante Wed 26-Aug-09 19:12:39

Thanks all. Am still not sure. He may have been dead since yesterday blush. Might see what state he's in before showing him to ds.

MaybeAfterBreakfast Wed 26-Aug-09 19:14:06

We had a dead hamster situation last week. I just explained to ds1 (3.4yo) and he took it in his stride. Wasn't even upset, just slightly baffled and curious.

Fwiw, I'd dispose of it (by whatever method) asap. A friend's dead hamster was crawling with insects within a few hours.

If you want to bury it with him I'd stick it in the freezer until tomorrow.

midlandsmumof4 Wed 26-Aug-09 23:49:52

This brings back some memories. My eldest son is now 28 but way back when he was about 5 we found his pet rabbit dead in the hutch. He'd not long started school and was just learning the rudiments of religion (when you die you go to heaven etc) so we had a burial in the garden and despite the fact I'm an atheist I went along with the 'died & gone to heaven' thing rather than confuse him. A week later he came into the house demanding to know why his rabbit hadn't gone to heaven cos it was still there in the box-he'd dug it up just to check. shock.

Picante Thu 27-Aug-09 11:48:10

Well we told him this morning. He cried for about 4 seconds then promptly got very excited about digging a big hole for him in the garden. grin

Not sure he's totally understood tho... he said 'he'll be nice and warm down there' and 'he won't be able to run away will he?' smile

Going to buy a new one later!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 27-Aug-09 11:56:19

That is good he isn't distraught.

Mine still ask questions about the dead hamsters in the garden, usually the 8 year old doing the asking.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 28-Aug-09 10:17:40

aww sad

blondes has and loves hammys and its awful when they die sad

i think you do need to be honest with children about life and death

so yes i would def tell them and then arrange a burial in the garden - make sure you put hammy in glass jar etc and screw on lid so and dig a hole at least a few feet deep so that hammy wont be dug up by cats/foxes and eaten

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