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Old 04-07-2011, 02:00 PM
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Default Play Dying

Does anyone have daycare kids that do this and if so how do you handle it?

I have a DCG (soon to be leaving though) that always end up leading everyone to play something that has to do with dying whether it be her or one of the other kids or one of the toys.

I don't know how to respond. Is it just me that's bothered by this? Or does it seem inappropriate? And if it's inappropriate what do I say?

Thank you!
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:26 PM
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Does anyone have daycare kids that do this and if so how do you handle it?

I have a DCG (soon to be leaving though) that always end up leading everyone to play something that has to do with dying whether it be her or one of the other kids or one of the toys.

I don't know how to respond. Is it just me that's bothered by this? Or does it seem inappropriate? And if it's inappropriate what do I say?

Thank you!
I have the same kid! Always talking about dying, killing, stabbing....etc. Mom and dad don't know where it's coming from. Kills any bug he sees outside and relishes in it! Mom and dad bought him some fish....and he killed them. Mom said he gave them a hug.....but he says.....I had to kill it. One day he came in and said his mom stabbed his dad......and another time that his mom stabbed him. I watch him a little (lot) closer than the other kids. He is 4. Don't have any answers for you. It's like a fascination. Maybe they have to act out these things to make sense of the world. Wish it would hurry and make sense though.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:31 PM
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Just a simple "oh that's not nice" is enough to stop the kiddos here. I don't like it when they play fight with each other or with my toys so it's not allowed here but I still catch it. Just today one of the kids said that one of the toy wolves had a rock fall on his head as I walked by. I asked "what fell on his head?" and she quickly said "flowers" to which I said "oh flowers are nice" lol.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:35 PM
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I don't have that but I wouldn't allow that at all. NO talk of stabbing, kill, killing, dying, dead......

Tell her to: STOP it. Don't talk like that around my kids. I don't like it. Don't say that.

I have kids under five and they need to have time in their life when they don't have to know stuff like that. They are small children. They deserve an environment that is calm, sweet, nice, relaxed, fun.... I give that to them every day.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:58 PM
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Well she doesn't talk about stabbing or killing. Just dying. Like "oh poor kitty is dying." And then they go on and on about it, how it needs medical care and she uses the word "dying" excessivly.

Today I asked what they were playing when I heard them and they told me, "we're playing dying and the bedroom is heaven." So it's not about violence which I have a zero tolerance for. It's more than that. It's about actual dying. I'm not so much worried about the DCG b/c she's leaving but it's influencing the other kids and now my son was playing it with her today and that irks me.

I just told them that dying is sad b/c when people die they go to heaven and they can't come back to see us so playing dying isn't a nice way to play.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:26 PM
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And here I am upset 2 of my toddlers don't/can't talk much. I guess I should count my blessings today.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:04 AM
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i understand death is a normal phase for kids, and depending on whats going on in their life at the time, it might be earlier or younger ages that get the fascination with it. I however, HATE it.

Neighbors boy is always playing and talking about it, and my little kids have no clue what it means, and they start saying it. Drives me bonkers. I just remind him I don't like that kind of talk and he says sorry and usually needs a few more reminders before I send him home. He's got much older brothers, and a friend of the family (a teenager) just died, so that's part of it. Also his big brother is a big time loser, and pretty mouthy.

He was playing with my kids one day, and they kept talking about Jason. Not thinking about it, I asked who is Jason and how do you play it? yeah, he meant like jason from the horror movies! a (5 yo at the time) was watching the Jason movies! UGH! He doesn't play here much anymore.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:14 AM
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Yeah this little girl who influences the other kids is exposed to WAY too many things that are WAY too adult in my opinion. I mean, she is allowed to watch any TV that is on when he's at her dad's house (50% of the time). She talks about naked stuff. I put a direct end to that quickly of course. Her mother felt the need to let her watch the movie Gremlin's from the 80's when she was 3 years old! I'm actually really relieved that she will be gone. Today is almost her last day. There are two more Fridays that I have to watch her in this month and then that is all!

After thinking about it I decided that I'll let the parents handle talking to their kids about dying and the rule here will just be NO playing dying along with the zero tolerance violence policy I have.

I did talk to my son about it yesterday. My husband's grandfather died a few months ago and we took our son to the memorial. He was curious about the whole thing so I explained some, as much as I could without having all the answers about dying.

But bottom line I think it's just not appropriate for daycare. Period. Not that dying is a terrible thing, it is as natural as birth. But I don't feel the need to discuss this with my daycare kids. So it's an off limits subject from here on out.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:06 AM
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I have a long standing rule in my day care. No playing with, or about guns and death and killing. The kids can make a million things out of the legos....except any kind of weapon. We have no toy guns, swords or weapons of any kind. Not even water pistols.

They can make believe a million things, but not anything to do with killing and dying.

They can bring show and tell items on Mondays, but if they bring a weapon, it goes right back to Mom at the door.

I do not think children need to learn that killing and fighting are "fun" activities.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:15 AM
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okay, assuming they're not talking about stabbing, shooting, etc. which you said they are NOT - it's totally normal for kids to be interested in death at this age.

there's nothing wrong with death, being interested in death, etc. and i think it would be inappropriate to tell them it's wrong, don't talk about it, etc.

both of my own children went through a phase where they were constantly worried about and talking about what if i died. they'd get phyically upset and say, "i don't want you to die!" and there was absolutely nothing even wrong with me. they had simply learned about death and the reality of it. it happens - whether it be bc the death of a family member, a pet, or even something they've seen/heard on TV and started questioning.

i personally wouldn't give it much attention especially if they're pretending with a stuffed kitten. OR you could even read a book that deals with the subject of death, let them know you've noticed they're curious about it, and let them ask questions and get it out of their systems.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Meeko60 View Post
I have a long standing rule in my day care. No playing with, or about guns and death and killing. The kids can make a million things out of the legos....except any kind of weapon. We have no toy guns, swords or weapons of any kind. Not even water pistols.

They can make believe a million things, but not anything to do with killing and dying.

They can bring show and tell items on Mondays, but if they bring a weapon, it goes right back to Mom at the door.

I do not think children need to learn that killing and fighting are "fun" activities.
I supply foam swords and the kids have a blast being pirates on the deep blue sea and fighting for their Captains!

Atleast once a day we have "cops" that come "arrest" the robbers (after at least a 20 minute pursuit)

We have a complete cowboy outfit for any of those little guys who wish to meet down at the O K corral and handle their disagreement like men from the old west.

Yesterday, the boys all went hunting for "wabbits" and found squirrels instead!

...and this morning since the snow has melted the Army base in the sandbox has grown even larger.

I think guns, killing and dying are part of life and part of growing up. We cannot keep them from it but we CAN teach them appropriate and non-appropriate play.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:22 AM
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If it's not violent, as you said it is not, then let them go. It's their way of working things out by using their imagination. Why hinder that? (Not that you are, I'm just saying) Like I say, I would NOT let it get to a point where they are pretending to CAUSE the death, but if they are just pretending to deal with a kitty's death, going to heaven, etc., LET THEM!! To squelch it would be to put a negative stigma on it. And who knows... maybe because of this play-acting, they'll deal with it better when a pet dies, or when Grandma dies!
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:30 AM
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If it's not violent, as you said it is not, then let them go. It's their way of working things out by using their imagination. Why hinder that? (Not that you are, I'm just saying) Like I say, I would NOT let it get to a point where they are pretending to CAUSE the death, but if they are just pretending to deal with a kitty's death, going to heaven, etc., LET THEM!! To squelch it would be to put a negative stigma on it. And who knows... maybe because of this play-acting, they'll deal with it better when a pet dies, or when Grandma dies!
this is how I see it. But when I hear them playing about killing each other, or screaming "you cant' play because you're dead" it makes me mad. Because the bigger kids kill off the annoying kids so they don't have to play with them.

I sometimes choose to turn away and let them play and other times I say you cannot play like that. It depends which death words, how they are using it, and if it seems natural or wrong.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:04 AM
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I agree that it's natural to be curious and I don't want to squelch it or make it taboo and then they try to do it behind my back.

What would a good response to this be? Just like what I told them yesterday? That dying is sad? I mean, I don't know how to address this. Or should I just let it go and not address this unless it turns violent?

I think I'm having such a hard time with this b/c 6 years ago I watched my husband die slowly over 17 months from a brain tumor. I'm personally really sensitive still to the subject of death and dying.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:10 AM
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I am so sorry to hear that, and I couldn't imagine going through that.

I think what you did was right. But it comes down to you either being comfortable with them playing like that or not.

If you dont' want it at all, if they are playing in a natural way, then just tell them so. Or maybe they can do it quieter. It is not your place to have to explain death to them, but advise the parents that maybe they should have a gentle talk about it, and censored depending on age, etc.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evansmom View Post
I agree that it's natural to be curious and I don't want to squelch it or make it taboo and then they try to do it behind my back.

What would a good response to this be? Just like what I told them yesterday? That dying is sad? I mean, I don't know how to address this. Or should I just let it go and not address this unless it turns violent?

I think I'm having such a hard time with this b/c 6 years ago I watched my husband die slowly over 17 months from a brain tumor. I'm personally really sensitive still to the subject of death and dying.
For me this is so easy.

"I" don't want to have that kind of talk from small children. I don't like it so I don't allow it. It's about ME and what "I" like. I want them to talk about flowers, elephants, pandas, guitars, trains, garbage trucks, dolls, blocks, food, treats, kitchens, etc. etc. etc.

There's a BAZILLION different things they CAN talk about every day. They can play "dying" from the time they leave here till the time they come back. I don't care about that. I just want them to play something else when they are around "me".

It's one of the big perks of being self employed. YOU get to decide your work environment.

We can make really simple things very complicated. There doesn't have to be a conversation about it at all. Just the words "don't talk that... I don't like it". That simple and they move onto something else.

Kids who are used to adults placing limits on their play will take it just like they take the "don't put the toys over your head" rule that I have. They are used to me saying what I like and don't like without any explanation. They look to me for simple... plain... understandable prompts to keep the play sweet, nice, calm.

I give them sweet, nice, calm every minute of every hour of every day. They can take that to the bank. When I tell them I don't like something they BELIEVE it and leave it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:44 AM
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Yes, thank you nannyde, you explained it kinda how I was feeling this morning. I don't feel like daycare is an appropriate place to discuss this and I don't feel equiped to talk to other people's children about dying, I'm not a child therapist. So I'll go with my gut feeling and nix the play dying quickly and in a short sentence like you suggested. I"ll also mention it to my parents so that they can have a talk with their children about it at home so we're all on the same page.

And then I'll keep talking to my little one about death and explore what he's wondering about the whole thing.

Thank you all for helping me talk through this.
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