How to help children whose pets have died

How to help children whose pets have died: 

The loss of a pet is a major emotional blow to children. One should be by their side during this process and help them deal with the situation.

The death of a pet can be heartbreaking. One’s pain is probably severe, but how can one help children whose pets have died? For most people, it is, after all, the first encounter with death and what it means.

In this article, we will look at how to help your child through this painful process. [1]

We recommend you to read another article on which is about How to choose a dog for children.

How to help children whose pets have died

It does not matter how it happened – long illness or a tragic accident – the size of the pet or how long it lived with the family. It can be very difficult for the child to understand and accept.

Pets are part of the family. They are playmates and weapon bearers on various adventures and pranks. Once they have left us, the children often become desperate and feel abandoned.

They may even develop a fear of losing other important characters.

Keep reading to learn how to handle this.

  1. Understand your child’s love for the animal

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The first step to help children whose pets have died is to try to understand what they are going through. Maybe you just see family pets as a form of companionship.

Grieving the loss of a pet is difficult, just like with any other family member. This is because the child loved it as part of the family, no matter what species it was.

  1. Have empathy for your child

help children whose pets have died
help children whose pets have died

Put yourself in your child’s shoes. Try to have empathy and understand how you would feel if the roles were reversed. Pay attention to the child,  because the process revolves around acceptance, not pain.

If the pet has died after a long illness, death is probably easier to accept than if the cause is an accident. After all, illness makes death more predictable.

The unpredictability of accidents can be the first time the child experiences that not everything can be controlled,  and it can lead to great fear.

  1. Avoid trying to soften the reality

In an attempt to protect the children, some parents choose to say that the pet escaped instead of explaining that it was in an accident and died. Do not do it.

Talking to your pet about the death of a pet is extremely difficult, but the child deserves to know the truth.

  1. Play with the child

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Follow your child through the grieving process by playing games with it.

Some children may even pretend that their stuffed animals get sick and die. These role-playing games can be powerful and healing. Take advantage of them to make the child understand and accept the loss.

  1. Reading can help children whose pets have died

With fairy tales for children, you can deal with the problems that come with mourning an animal.

There are many stories of family members and pets dying, such as  A Star Named Ajax by Ulf Stark.

Spend time reading stories and talking about death with your child.

  1. Express your feelings to help the children

Some children find it difficult to express their pain. Become your child’s triggering factor by showing that the pet’s death also affected you.

Teach your child that it’s okay to be sad,  that it’s normal to cry, and that it’s not wrong to miss someone.

  1. Talk to your child

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Death often leads to children asking lots of questions. Be prepared to answer them as honestly as you can and according to the age of the child.

Read Also: How to entertain children

  1. Honor the life of your pet

Talk to your child about the best times with the pet to evoke fond memories.

Do not forget to talk about the pet,  because the child must remember the good times. A small funeral can also be helpful for your child.

Saying goodbye can be what the child needs to feel a little better. However, this does not mean that the pain and loss will disappear. Like this, you can help the children whose pets have died.

Another option is to make a small photo album that will help the child remember it in a good way. You can even plant a tree in its honor.

  1. Do not get a new pet immediately

Your child needs time to process the loss and accept that his friend no longer exists. Do not try to fill the void with a new animal.

The child must be allowed to process the situation before you get a new pet.

  1. Keep an eye on your child

Moments of tears and sadness are normal, but if you notice that your child has nightmares, can not sleep, or feels anxiety, talk to a pediatrician.

It may be necessary to give the child therapy so that he or she can recover from death.

The death of a pet is often a child’s first experience of death. Be patient, spend time with the child, and show how much you love it.

Help it to gradually come to terms with the death of the pet as if it were a person who has died, because the animal may well have been your child’s best friend.