Losing a family pet can be quite sad for the whole family, but parents know it can be rather traumatic for kids. If you have recently lost a family pet or know someone who has, and the kids are struggling to cope, then continue reading for 5 ways to help your child cope with the death of a pet.
5 Ways to Help your Kid Cope with the Death of a Pet
Keep it Honest
While you may want to make up stories or create an unrealistic response in regards to the death of a family pet, it’s best to keep it age appropriately honest. Explain that your family pet is no longer in pain and suffering, this helps avoid confusion with other terms adults use when a family pet dies.
Listen and Answer
Keep the doors open for your kid to ask questions and talk about their feelings about the death of a family pet. It’s important your kid is able to work through his or her own feelings as well as thoughts about this sad situation. Be there to listen and answer questions when necessary.
For some kids, having a funeral for the family pet will help them gain closure for this loss. Other kids don’t really seem to care about a funeral. Figure out what will help your kid find closure with the death of the family pet and do it. Perhaps a celebration of the pet’s life would help. When we lost our pet last year, we put together a shadow box with our favorite memories of her.
While you may want to push your kid to get over the death of a family pet faster than they’re ready to, it’s best to remain compassionate while they work through their feelings of losing a beloved pet. Be compassionate when listening to your kids work through their own process of grieving.
Wait For a New Pet
All too often parents think finding a new family pet will fill the hole that’s left after the death of a beloved pet, but that’s not actually a good idea. It’s best to allow time for your kid to grieve and accept the death of a family pet before you introduce a new pet into the home.
There you have it, 5 ways to help your child cope with the death of a pet. These ideas will help you and your child move on from the grief associated with the loss of a family pet so that you can move forward in life.