I finally told my 5 year old that Steve Irwin died...

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  1. As most of you know, Steve Irwin - The Crocodile Hunter died in September of 2006. At the time, my son was just too young to understand. It would have been really hard to explain to a 4 year old that Steve Irwin died, but yes, you still see him on TV every day.

    So, last night we were watching The Crocodile Hunter on TV and my DS started talking about wanting to take a trip to Australia and see Steve Irwin. I said that maybe someday we would go but he probably wouldn't see Steve Irwin. He asked why, so in the gentlest way possible I told him. My DS turns 6 in 2 weeks, so I thought, now or never.

    He handled it pretty well at first until I got him ready for bed. Then it hit him and he was pretty devastated. I felt so bad for him. In between sobs he said "Steve Irwin was the best crocodile hunter ever." So we found his Steve Irwin action figure, a couple of little plastic crocodiles that he had and two crocodile books. He calmed down after I gave him the books to read in bed. He slept all night with his little toys in bed with him.

    Oh man. I just knew this would be his reaction. So, now I feel like a mean mom for not telling him 1 1/2 years ago when it happened.
     
  2. awww don't feel bad, you were just trying to protect him. Death is a very difficult subject for little children. He would have reacted this way when it happend as well. I'm sure he'll be fine in a couple of days. :smile:
     
  3. you are not a bad mom. you are a kind and caring mom! 1.5 years ago, he probably would not have been able to comprehend what death was. Now that he is sad, it only means he understands the concept now and you won't be able to shelter him from pain all his life. Instead, you are preparing him how to handle it and the fact that you were so loving and gentle with him has given him the tools he needs to cope with bad news. I think what you did and how you handled it was excellent.
     
  4. You sound like a terrific mom! Kudos for being so sensitive and caring. Great big hugs to you and your little boy.
     
  5. Well said. I agree. You did the right thing. :yes:
     
  6. your not a mean mom at all. I like how you let him know gently.
     
  7. That was so touching the way you handled it. Even brought a tear to my eye.

    I'm not looking forward to the day I have to explain death to my children, but I hope to do it with the kindness you've exhibited with your child.
     
  8. That wasn't mean of you at all. Discussing death with children is never an easy thing, but I think you broached the subject in a way that was sensitive and age appropriate. Moreover, the way you described your son's reaction, he seemed to handle it well.

    If he continues to ask, maybe you could talk to him about Bindi Irwin and how she's following in her dad's footsteps. I'm sure your son might think that was pretty cool... even for a girl! :graucho:
     
  9. great idea. :tup:
     
  10. Thanks for everyone's kind words.

    My son says that he is going to grow up, become a Zoologist, and marry Bindi! The Crocodile Hunter TV show is his all time favorite show. One of the other Mom's at his kindergarten told me that Bindi's new show had started. So I set up our DVR to record it.

    He is totally fine with the whole concept today. I was so worried because I leave for work before he gets up in the morning. I even wrote a note to his kindergarten teacher just in case he was being weird today or something. But there was only the one little crying fit last night and he seems to be over it.
     
  11. ^^^thats good to hear. I think you did the right thing as well because if he had heard it on the playground by some other kids (who may not have been as nice about it) it could have been worse.
     
  12. sorry but that is so cute! very touching!!
    you did good!!
    give him a big hug from me!
     
  13. Aww, what a sweet but sad story, but it sounds like you handled it so well. I've seen "Bindi the Jungle Girl," and while the theme song drives me bonkers it's a cute show and she's just adorable. It's nice how she'll bring up her father once in awhile, too.
     
  14. Awww. I know that must have been hard :sad:. My son is 5 and loves Nigel Marvin. He had a BBC show like Steve Irwin, only more like a series of mini-series, but also did the mini-series "Dinosaur Planet," the conecpt of which is that he built an animal reserve, and goes back in time to bring back dinosaurs and other extinct species to like at the preserve. Kind of like Steve Irwin meets Jurassic Park. Anyway he just loves Nigel Marvin, would love to meet him, and tells me he wishes we had named him Nigel (or that we should have named him Nigel). I imagine it was the same with your son and Steve Irwin and that it was very hard to tell him that he died.
     
  15. aw! that is the cutest sad story ever! your son handles it well i think and it was a good thing you told him now before he found out some other way.