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Cathyincayman  (Level: 50.2 - Posts: 33)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 12:11 PM


HELP, my son is 6 almost 7 and he's a good kid, but yesterday he got annoyed with the kitten because she was meowing a lot (it was morning and she was hungry) and since it was early and no one else was awake and he was fed-up he put her in the freezer. My daughter who is 8 woke up soon after and rescued her and my son spent many hours in his room with no t.v, but I'm wondering if he needs to see a psychologist as it could be a deeper issue. He's never done anything like that before, but I don't have brothers, so I'm not sure how much of it is boy behavior or something more serious. Any advice would be appreciated, I live in a small place and I'm afraid to discuss it with certain people and get him labeled as a deviant, what should I do???? Cathy

Greyghost  (Level: 69.0 - Posts: 640)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 12:32 PM

Is/was he aware of the reaction to his action ?

Salzypat  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 5425)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 12:42 PM

I had four boys in six years, so I know a little something about boys. At 6 he should be old enough to understand the consequences of his actions and that the cat might have died. Thinking back, I can't remember my boys ever being intentionally harmful to an animal. I think I might be concerned enough to continue to watch for other signs of hurting animals and it might not be a bad idea to visit with someone if you can afford it. If nothing more than to put your mind at ease or to give you some guidance.

Cathyincayman  (Level: 50.2 - Posts: 33)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 1:29 PM

He was told of the seriousness of his actions and punished, but I've lost a bit of trust in him, thing is he's a good kid, but his grandfather was a schizophrenic, I don't know much about it, as he left before my husband was born, but is there a chance it could affect my son? I'm worried, but others have just said keep a close eye on him. He's been told he's not allowed to play with the cat again, and I think he knows what he did was bad, but maybe he'll do something else mean in the future. Cathy

Revdodd  (Level: 68.7 - Posts: 775)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 1:33 PM

Before you take him to counseling...before you do anything...sit and talk with him.

Since you note he's "a good kid" I'll assume he's never done something of the like before, btw.

Tell him that the kitty is annoying, just like he no doubt was when he was when he was a squalling baby (and I'll assume y'all didn't put him in the freezer to hush him up.) That'll break the tension, then you'll be able to converse better with him.

Ask where the idea of using the freezer came up. Was it from a cartoon? Was it something he heard elsewhere (and if so, WHERE?)

You may learn it was simply something he saw on Itchy and Scratchy and decided it was a good idea. You're then able to help him discern the difference between reality and wacky TV stuff.

If he said he wanted to freeze the cat to death to shut it up, THEN you've got a call for counseling. But if he's been a good kid, and he's being raised right, consider it a slipped step along the way.

Cjar855  (Level: 134.6 - Posts: 838)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 5:06 PM

I totally agree with "Rev". Talking with your kids and letting them know they can talk to you works wonders.Especially with first offenses.Sometimes punishing for everything they do just makes them angry,and then they don't want to talk to you about anything.I may be wrong, but it worked for me.Good luck with your little. He may not have been mad at the cat,something else could have been bothering him..

Cjar855  (Level: 134.6 - Posts: 838)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 5:52 PM

On that last post I meant to say "Good Luck with your Little Guy"

Revdodd  (Level: 68.7 - Posts: 775)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 6:24 PM

FWIW, I seem to recall Tom and Jerry having a freezer involved in an episode as well....

Seniorrita  (Level: 140.1 - Posts: 223)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 7:09 PM

I agree with the 'Rev" as well and have a couple of comments to add: Be sure you spend as much time with your children as you do on sploofus! And one more thing, recently my dementia-husband was driving me batty and in my dumping on my daughter she said, "Mom, smother him with kindness and see what happens!" Sometimes we need T L C! Good luck!

Smaug  (Level: 145.4 - Posts: 2763)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 7:17 PM

You'd have to establish that he realized his actions could harm the kitten.

And cast a pall on the future use of the refrigerator as well.

Jorboo  (Level: 39.1 - Posts: 141)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 7:41 PM

He is six years old and probably not aware that the kitten could have died. I would have a long talk with him and discuss the issue with his pediatrician. We have to be careful of putting labels on our children, but this is a serious situation. My prayers are with you.

Alaskan420  (Level: 69.0 - Posts: 191)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 8:57 PM

Ive got 6 kids(4 boys) and one with a mean streak.Best to do of course is to talk with him.Then,monitor him well and keep a small journal of his behavior over the next few months.If he is doing or saying things that just seem to rub you wrong(sometimes the wrong behavior is very hard to see,6th sense is trusted)then you will have a small history of him to show his Doc.God bless....Wayne

Oldcougar  (Level: 229.6 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 9:02 PM

I have an autistic son, so I've read quite a bit on behavioral issues & children up to the age of 6-7 don't understand the difference between fact & fantasy. It's very possible he didn't know what would happen & may not be old enough to know better. It always makes me angry when I hear an adult teasing a young child & then saying I was only joking. The poor child doesn't see it that way & I truly believe that's how many phobias are started. Having a talk with your son will probably finish the matter. That approach worked with our son when he did something awful, which, by the way, he'd picked up from TV. Feel free to PM me Cathy, if you want to talk some more.

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.5 - Posts: 3844)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 9:30 PM

I think it is way too premature to suggest any diagnosis. You need to determine whether this is an isolated incident or a pattern. At this time, it is an isolated incident.

Try talking him through it, starting with do you love kitty? If so, then would you want to hurt it? What do you think would happen if we didn't find kitty? Would you feel bad if you killed her?

Smaug  (Level: 145.4 - Posts: 2763)
Mon, 30th Jul '07 11:41 PM

Can he reach the microwave?

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2812)
Tue, 31st Jul '07 12:02 AM

I'm sorry. That's funny. Tacky and insensitive, but funny.

I say yes, definitely keep an eye on the kid, but don't go all to pieces just yet. I really doubt he understood the cat might die, and I doubt that any kid that age has a real grasp of what death means unless they've already had a direct experience. I think he wanted to get rid of the cat for a little while, not forever. It's not at all the same as if he had been causing the cat direct physical pain.

This really touches me. When my son was about that age he had a plastic bucket with a lid; I called him in for dinner one evening and he put his kitten in it so it wouldn't run away while he ate. I first knew about it when he went back out to play with the kitten and I heard him screaming. It took every parenting skill I ever had to get him past that. He had nightmares, would cry every time he thought of it for years, could never handle being around cats after that. And it wasn't anything wrong with him, it was simply a tragic mistake that came from one of those dumb ideas that kids sometimes don't think through. I think that could also be the case for you. In which case, once you've made sure he understands that kitties can't live without air and warmth, he shouldn't be made to feel too badly; the guilt can have far-reaching, crippling effects.

Tibby  (Level: 121.9 - Posts: 66)
Tue, 31st Jul '07 1:56 AM

You've received some good advice here. I understand that you are worried about the mental illness that may run in his family. That is a good thing to keep an eye on, but don't let it drive you.

I did have a friend whose little brother put the puppy in the freezer because he was yapping and the mom told him to deal with the puppy because he was being annoying. Puppy died. The boy was probably around your boy's age. He ended up growing up fine and normal. It was just one of those things that he didn't understand at his age/development.

Good luck.

Geophile  (Level: 168.3 - Posts: 1553)
Tue, 31st Jul '07 1:57 AM

This sounds like "True Confessions of our Naughty Boys." Our son was raised with animals; birds, snakes, dogs and cats. Our standard poodle had 10 puppies. When they were about eight weeks old, our then 5 year old son had a playmate over and he decided to drop one of the puppies on the ground - intentionally. We rushed the puppy to the vet down the street and it was ok, but I remember feeling like I was raising a psychopath. He is 44 years old today, he would adopt every animal in the pound if he could, is a total vegetarian, and the kindest, most wonderful son you could ever want.
Who knows what motivates kids to do what they do? I do think that monitoring him closely and noting some of his behaviors in advance of seeking professional help, if you think the need exists, is probably a good thing.

Smaug  (Level: 145.4 - Posts: 2763)
Tue, 31st Jul '07 2:05 AM

When I was a kid, my father was a park ranger down in Florida. I was only about 6 or 7. He'd patrol for alligator poachers on a big air boat that got us through the swamps. You got to know a lot of the animals, and there was a dolphin that would follow us aroun....wait, maybe that was a TV show. Never mind.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Tue, 31st Jul '07 10:16 AM

Hi Cathy,
Sorry about your trouble with your son and the kitty.
Thank goodness it turned out well.
He probably saw something like it on a cartoon.

Just wanted to tell you that my mother is a schizophrenic, but so far....
no sign of the disease in the following THREE generations (there are seven
great-grandchildren and six grandchildren) so don't worry overly about
this being a sign of disease.

Watch to see if it was a mistake or a pattern of behaviour. And try not to
load on the guilt,shame,blame. Discussion of consequences is much better
than prolonged punishment.

Good luck, I know you are working hard to do what's best for him.

Cathyincayman  (Level: 50.2 - Posts: 33)
Tue, 31st Jul '07 10:53 AM

Thank you everyone, I've recieved some great advice and as demented as it was, the microwave comment was hysterical and gave me a great belly laugh, from what everyone has said I think he just didn't realize what he was doing and the consciquences, but we've talked and I think he now knows what he did was dangerous and wrong, so I'm confident it won't happen again. I'm still keeping a close eye on him, and even more on what he watches on t.v, and he does get lots of hugs and kisses daily, so with everyone's great advice, my mind is at ease. THANK YOU SPLOOFUS FRIENDS !!!!! Cathy

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