Palm Trees and Dinosaur Eggs

Easter Egg in Grass

‘Lil Miss, put Francesco in the oven and burn him. Then he’ll die! He’s been very very naughty’

Oh. My. God!

‘Lil Man we don’t burn people for being naughty. What has Francesco done?’

‘I don’t know, but he’s a baddy. A real baddy.’

Hmmmm.

The kids have been doing a lot of role play lately. Some of it has been quite amusing, such as when Lil Miss piped up the other day

‘Lil Man, we needs to go the shoe shop, I need new shoes’

and Lil Man replied, ‘I’m not your baby’s daddy. You’re not getting new shoes!’

But still none of it has gone anywhere near pretending that toys, are burning and dying. I was slightly horrified and also completely perplexed as to where it came from.

Until bedtime.

‘Mummy, do you know the Easter story?’

‘I know some of it sweetie, why don’t you tell me what you know?’

‘Well, there’s palm trees and dinosaur eggs. No wait. Easter eggs, there’s Easter eggs. And Jesus was the King and the guards came to arrest him in his castle. Then he was made to carry a cross. His OWN cross! They got his hand and feet and put nails in them. Mummy, would it hurt if a nail went in your hand? There was two other people with the baby Jesus. No wait, Jesus was the King. One had a REALLY long white beard. Then Jesus died because he’d had no water. Would you die if you didn’t have anything to eat and drink? Mummy will I be alright if I don’t have water while I’m asleep tonight?’

Then he gulped down his milk and asked for some water.

I wondered why he’d been so keen to eat every scrap of his tea earlier!

I’m not sure what to make of this yet. I haven’t quite processed it. If it’s not obvious already, they’ve been taught this in school. I’m all for being honest with them but I can’t help but think this was done in slightly too much detail, he’s only in reception. He’s just 4 years old. I think that’s the thing that’s bothering me the most, the detail it seems they’ve gone into. He kept wanting to talk about how nails would feel in your hands and feet. He also started asking why we die because we grow. It took me a while to figure out that he just meant growing old.

It’s a tough one, I know at some point they need to know about death, he just still seems too little and my mothering instinct wants to protect him from things that might upset him.

I told him that I’d have to find the Easter story so we could read it together and talk about it some more. ‘Can we have a different Easter Story?’, he asked, ‘I don’t like that one’. I don’t blame him to be honest! Maybe we’ll make up our own happy Easter story with palm trees and dinosaur eggs.

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Comments

  1. says

    That does seem a little…drastic to me! He doesn’t need to be thinking about nails and dying painfully! We have family members who give us bible stories for the kids and I’ve learned to read them out of their sight before sharing because whilst I think it’s important they learn why we celebrate certain festivals I want, like you, to ease them into the gory details slowly – they’re too young to process a lot of this stuff.

    I’d probably have a word with the staff at school, too, telling them about these conversations and pointing out he was distressed.

    • Kate says

      We’ll be doing just that. I’m bothered by how much it seems to have affected him, it’s too much, they’re still so young :/

  2. says

    That seems a lot of detail for a 4 year old to have to take in I take the boy to Sunday school and they don’t go into that much detail there until they go into the upper class , they are told Jesus is risen but not what from and the kids think he’s been asleep and that the cross is something he visits and he wore a crown because he was king .

    • Kate says

      I think that would’ve been a much nicer way of doing it at the moment, they don’t need to know the finer details when they’re still so little.

  3. Donna Trinder says

    Oh dear! That does seem a little too explicit!
    Our youngest is 12 & they’ve just been learning about prisoners of war in WWII. It was extremely graphic & he come home very distressed, he knows my grandad was a POW.
    They have to learn about the ways of the world, but sometimes there are more sensitive ways?

    • Kate says

      It does, doesn’t it Donna? I’m sure it could’ve been done in a way where they didn’t have to talk about the nails & dying so much, but then he is a thinker, some other kids possibly wouldn’t have thought much more of it. Completely agree, can’t protect him forever, but a bit too much too young I think. Oh gosh, I don’t even want to think about them learning about that, it’s hard isn’t it? Feel for them so much discovering things like that that went on.

    • Kate says

      No, me neither. I don’t think it was necessary or appropriate for a class of 4/5 year olds. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to have played on his mind too much since, but still, that’s not really the point. It clearly affected him that day.

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