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  #1  
Old 01-06-2015, 07:22 AM
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MissAnn MissAnn is offline
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Default MLK and How He Died

OK.....I've never had a kid ask me how MLK died. I was on the spot and I just kind of said..."He just died"......

He is 4. How would you handle the question. I asked the mom and she said he keeps asking her too. If he were my child I would just tell him the truth...but he's not my child and I don't know that I want to have that whole discussion with all of the kids here. If I tell him or if mom does....he will talk about it here...a lot. He has had 3 deaths in his family this year so death is a curiosity for him. We do talk about death here....about the ones in his family (if he brings it up) and also about Michael Jackson and Elvis. He always remembers they died.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:52 AM
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OK.....I've never had a kid ask me how MLK died. I was on the spot and I just kind of said..."He just died"......

He is 4. How would you handle the question. I asked the mom and she said he keeps asking her too. If he were my child I would just tell him the truth...but he's not my child and I don't know that I want to have that whole discussion with all of the kids here. If I tell him or if mom does....he will talk about it here...a lot. He has had 3 deaths in his family this year so death is a curiosity for him. We do talk about death here....about the ones in his family (if he brings it up) and also about Michael Jackson and Elvis. He always remembers they died.
In these kinds of situations I just say "That is something you'll have to ask your mom/dad about". and just keep repeating it if they ask again.

It doesn't take away from the lesson if you are teaching the kids about his impact in history and his achievements but still allows the parent to manage that part of it.

As a parent, I'd prefer my kids' provider handled that way as I fee it's MY prerogative the choose how and when I tell my kids those kinds of things (unless they are in school...then it's different) but since we are talking under age 5 here, that is how I would manage.

"Talk to your mom/dad about that." Rinse and repeat.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:20 AM
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In these kinds of situations I just say "That is something you'll have to ask your mom/dad about". and just keep repeating it if they ask again.

It doesn't take away from the lesson if you are teaching the kids about his impact in history and his achievements but still allows the parent to manage that part of it.

As a parent, I'd prefer my kids' provider handled that way as I fee it's MY prerogative the choose how and when I tell my kids those kinds of things (unless they are in school...then it's different) but since we are talking under age 5 here, that is how I would manage.

"Talk to your mom/dad about that." Rinse and repeat.
Thanks...this is exactly how I feel. His mom is at a loss as to what she wants to tell him....but she is the mom. So far today he hasn't asked so maybe it won't come up again. I want them to focus on the good He did for our country and how we can make the world a better place too....not about his death and how he died.
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Old 01-06-2015, 04:33 PM
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Maybe mom could discuss all of Dr. Kings good works and then explain that there were some mean people who didn't like Dr. King because he wanted to help everyone so they shot him. Mom could tweak it to her liking.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:24 PM
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Maybe mom could discuss all of Dr. Kings good works and then explain that there were some mean people who didn't like Dr. King because he wanted to help everyone so they shot him. Mom could tweak it to her liking.
My poor daycare kids have experienced so much death this year I couldn't figure out the conflict of telling the kids the truth at first.

I agree about respecting parents wishes, but if I is asks I tell them. In a gentle, age appropriate way, but I don't think avoiding the topic of death does kids any favors. My dcks have lost several aunts and uncles and their parents have kept it simple but frank.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:50 PM
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My child came home from school very upset about Terry Fox dying (he's a Canadian hero who walked across Canada to raise money for cancer). I had to explain cancer and death to a 5 year old and I was none too happy about it. I kept her home for Remembrance Day/Veterans Day. I don't want to shield her but these topics are way too complex for a 5 year old.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:41 PM
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My poor daycare kids have experienced so much death this year I couldn't figure out the conflict of telling the kids the truth at first.

I agree about respecting parents wishes, but if I is asks I tell them. In a gentle, age appropriate way, but I don't think avoiding the topic of death does kids any favors. My dcks have lost several aunts and uncles and their parents have kept it simple but frank.

I agree. A bit off the original topic, but I have had several periods of time when my child care children could not avoid the subject of death. One child's cousin died, and that child was a neighbor of several of my children in care. Several children have had a grandparent die, who they were very close to, including grandparents who took part in caring for the children. Two children have had a parent die while they they were in my care. I also had a four-year-old child who had a near-death experience herself, as well as a family whose second child died at several months old.
There are many good preschool-appropriate books about grief, and through the different situations that my children had to deal with, I learned to choose the proper book at the proper time, and it seems to really help, by opening up the topic. Listening to them process, and allowing them to play also helps them process. It amazed me that they could incorporate their exploration of what death means into any subject that they played during free play time.

I had a unit on Dr. MLK Jr. last year, when I had a very mature group of preschoolers. We read a book that told of his life, of demonstrations, etc. and of his death. At first I shied away from addressing his death, but these children were sharp and cued in on the fact that we celebrate him because he is no longer alive, and that the looks on the faces of people in the book were angry and/or somber. So I felt they deserved honesty, at a four-to-five year level. I let their parents know what we'd discussed afterward, so they could be better prepared for further questions. It wasn't part of my plan, but we went with it. I don't like dumbing things down for children who are ready, though if they were not questioning me, I would not have gone there.
And if I were utterly uncomfortable addressing this, or thought their parents would disagree with my explanations, I too would have them talk with their parents instead.
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2015, 04:04 AM
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I agree. A bit off the original topic, but I have had several periods of time when my child care children could not avoid the subject of death. One child's cousin died, and that child was a neighbor of several of my children in care. Several children have had a grandparent die, who they were very close to, including grandparents who took part in caring for the children. Two children have had a parent die while they they were in my care. I also had a four-year-old child who had a near-death experience herself, as well as a family whose second child died at several months old.
There are many good preschool-appropriate books about grief, and through the different situations that my children had to deal with, I learned to choose the proper book at the proper time, and it seems to really help, by opening up the topic. Listening to them process, and allowing them to play also helps them process. It amazed me that they could incorporate their exploration of what death means into any subject that they played during free play time.

I had a unit on Dr. MLK Jr. last year, when I had a very mature group of preschoolers. We read a book that told of his life, of demonstrations, etc. and of his death. At first I shied away from addressing his death, but these children were sharp and cued in on the fact that we celebrate him because he is no longer alive, and that the looks on the faces of people in the book were angry and/or somber. So I felt they deserved honesty, at a four-to-five year level. I let their parents know what we'd discussed afterward, so they could be better prepared for further questions. It wasn't part of my plan, but we went with it. I don't like dumbing things down for children who are ready, though if they were not questioning me, I would not have gone there.
And if I were utterly uncomfortable addressing this, or thought their parents would disagree with my explanations, I too would have them talk with their parents instead.
I agree. I'm kind of surprised that this is even an issue.
I almost think that in the OP's case, the fact no one seems to want to simply tell him is creating an issue where there isn't one...

I never talked with my own kids about 9/11 - being a New Yorker, having had many friends and family who live and work in Manhattan, etc. it's not something I like discussing. But then they have both come home from school talking about it...and I realized that I can't keep them in a bubble. Much better to address and reassure than hem and haw and stall
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:46 AM
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I agree. I'm kind of surprised that this is even an issue.
I almost think that in the OP's case, the fact no one seems to want to simply tell him is creating an issue where there isn't one...

I never talked with my own kids about 9/11 - being a New Yorker, having had many friends and family who live and work in Manhattan, etc. it's not something I like discussing. But then they have both come home from school talking about it...and I realized that I can't keep them in a bubble. Much better to address and reassure than hem and haw and stall
I think it's super-hard when it hits us hard emotionally. I struggled with including "We Shall Overcome" in our songs, because I cried every time I sang it. Last year was the first time I could do it.

I can understand people not wanting to "teach" this though - I probably wouldn't do it if my children hadn't needed to do it, in relation to other people's deaths. It felt like a necessity, and my parents would have probably been upset if I hadn't let the children play out their concerns.
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