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Old 01-02-2014, 03:28 AM   #1
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"Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

So DS3 has always been my wonder child. He will say anything, anywhere, to anyone with no hesitation. About a week before Christmas break we were sitting down to have dinner and when he states very boldly "my fwen Arwis is a lelelarian". Not understanding him I tried to continue on with the conversation to catch his drift. He said she has to eat different food, she can have hot dogs and milk and cheese but it's specials kinds. Then he asks the question "Why mommy?" I had no other way of explaining it than to say everyone is different and likes different things. Still I feel like I didn't really answer his question. How do you explain things like this to a 5 year old?

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Old 01-02-2014, 03:57 AM   #2
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Re: "Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

You say....'there are a few reasons. One could be that those foods come from animals and some people don't like making animals give us those foods. To make meat animals have to die and some people don't like using animals that way. Other people think eating foods from animals isn't healthy for you and other people have allergies. There could be several reasons. '

It's not that hard. You just explain it to him. The more accurate the better.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:21 AM   #3
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Re: "Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

I suppose that it's not what to say but more of how to say it to a 5 year old to make him understand. It may not be a hard thing for some, but not being a vegetarian myself or knowing anyone who is makes it difficult for me to understand the reasons that people choose to not to eat meat or animal products other than dietary and religious reasons. But thank you for some suggestions.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellasundies
You say....'there are a few reasons. One could be that those foods come from animals and some people don't like making animals give us those foods. To make meat animals have to die and some people don't like using animals that way. Other people think eating foods from animals isn't healthy for you and other people have allergies. There could be several reasons. ' It's not that hard. You just explain it to him. The more accurate the better.
Yep. Or even more simply than this, just say, "his parents decided this is what he should eat."

My dd is 5 and we are vegetarian. It's never really come up because this is how it's always been. I keep explanations very short for her because she will dwell endlessly about little things. Her friend has a peanut allergy and I had to explain over and over again what that meant and how she doesn't have allergies.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:46 AM   #5
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Re: "Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

I'm not veg. either but I still understand the dietary, religious, and ethical reasons as to why people don't eat animal products. Maybe I'm more aware of it though since I used to work at a veg. restaurant (shrug).

For any topic not just the OP's....

I think telling the kids like it is, without being graphic, for any topic is what is best. You would be surprised at what they are capable of understanding. Just because they are kids doesn't mean they are incapable of understanding. I'm a science teacher and everyday I see the damage done to kids by their parents who thought their child couldn't possibly understand a topic. I always try to explain things in depth. One day, out of the blue, my 4 year old started explaining to me the basics of how an internal combustion engine works. Just be honest and detailed. They will surprise you
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:11 AM   #6
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Re: "Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

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Originally Posted by aries416 View Post
Yep. Or even more simply than this, just say, "his parents decided this is what he should eat."

My dd is 5 and we are vegetarian. It's never really come up because this is how it's always been. I keep explanations very short for her because she will dwell endlessly about little things. Her friend has a peanut allergy and I had to explain over and over again what that meant and how she doesn't have allergies.
This is exactly the way DS is, my answer to any of his questions never seem quite good enough, and he will continue to ask. I know he is very bright and understands, but I'm not sure if he continues to question me because my answer didn't make sense to him, or if it is just something so entirely new to him that he is just interested in knowing more.

I just wondered if any other parents faced a similar conversation with their children and how they handled it. Like my teachers I school always said "There's no such thing as a stupid question unless it wasn't asked"
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:27 AM   #7
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At 5 he can understand a lot. My younger bil is vegan. My 5 year old knows and helps him find foods he can eat. By 3 she would decide to eat vegan for a few hours before deciding to 'not be vegan anymore'.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:00 AM   #8
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Re: "Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

I think you can just tell him that vegetarian means that his family doesn't eat meat. So he only eats foods with no meat in it. I don't think you need to get into an explanation about why the family may or may not be vegetarian because you don't know. If questioned you could tell your son that there are lots of reasons people become vegetarian but you don't know the family well enough to know why they don't eat meat. That is what I'd do for my kids. Most likely they wouldn't question further - they'd mostly be looking for what vegetarian means. If they asked further only then would I discuss why people become vegetarian.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:37 AM   #9
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I am the only vegetarian in my family (well mY MIL is too). My ODD knows and has for some time. I jut told her I don't eat animals because it makes me sad that they have to die and as she has gotten older I have explained more about the extremely poor treatment of most of the animals used for meat (we can't currently afford to buy a portion of a cow from a farmer and I probably still wouldn't eat meat if we could). I also have other more quirky reasons I don't eat meat that don't apply to most vegetarians (I have pretty intense texture issues in regards to food and an extreme blood phobia so the fact that they bleed and people then eat it makes me want to vomit)
I would just explain that some people choose not to eat animals, and she may be vegan since your son said special milk and cheese so I might explain that some people don't eat or use any animal products.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:39 AM   #10
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Re: "Aris has to eat special hot dogs"

DS is very fond of this little girl, and is interested in everything that has to do with her not just the foods she eats. He is always full of questions about her that I can't answer because I don't even know her, lol. He is very quick to notice what sets others apart from him and his own family, and I love that he understands that everyone is unique.
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