Here Are Some Tips to Help Your Child Cope with Losing a Pet
While it may be difficult for you to cope with the loss of a pet, helping children cope with losing a pet is also difficult. Eternal Life Cremation Services, LLC in Mount Pleasant, PA, has some tips to help you make sense of the situation to your child. Taking care of a pet might’ve been their first big responsibility of life. If you have a teenager, the pet may have been one of their closest friends. The relationship with a furry animal has been proven to provide many lifelong benefits.
Sometimes, those pets might’ve served as sidekicks in imaginary rescue missions. They may have been their first ever playmate. A pet may have been your child’s first true friend. They were there with them when siblings may have picked on them, or friends abandoned them. When they need help handling the loss, make sure to keep these things in mind.
Talking with Your Child About a Pet’s Passing is Important
Kids may run into people who think that the passing of a pet isn’t that important. This may be because people don’t understand how close your child was with that the dog or cat. Your family had a unique connection to the pet that died. Sometimes, this might be even your child’s first time learning about death. Having to explain the concept of death, and trying to help ease your child’s pain, can be double trouble.
Never make assumptions about whether or not your child fully understands what is happening. Your kids have a number of places to get information. You are one of them. Encourage your child to be honest and open with what they are feeling. You won’t only help them with this situation, but others that come up later in life.
Have Your Child Imagine What the Pet Might Be Up To
Your child imagining what your pet could be doing may help you determine what aspects of death scare your child. That can help you better address the issue so that they have a better understanding of death. Young children, generally speaking, don’t totally understand death. They do enjoy, though, exploring what is possible, and imagination is a huge part of a child’s development.
Work aspects of your own background into the process. If you’re a spiritual or religious family, use those aspects to help in their grieving. This can help a child accept that the pet will not return from its grave. It will help the child move to the acceptance stage of grief. Also, have them work with their support system.
Don’t Forget About Your Teenager’s Grief Over Losing a Pet
Teenagers may be closer to your pet than you realize. That pet may have been the closest companion they may have had. Encourage your teen to use the resources available to them through their support system. That age group tends to take greater comfort in talking with older adult friends. That can help with the difficulty of sharing their grief with their peers.
Experienced grief counselors suggest the idea of working their pet’s best qualities into their daily lives. This is one of the best ways to memorialize your pet’s life. The Pet Loss Support Page has more great ideas to help you comfort your children.
Kids Will Express Their Emotions to Losing a Pet in Different Ways
There will be things you kids will come across that will remind them of their long-time companion. Sometimes seeing pictures or hearing music can take them back to the better times they had with their pet. The important thing is to remember that you need to be there for your children.
You should, though, avoid saying that the pets just went to sleep when you explain their passing. That may create fears for your own children that if they go to sleep, they may not wake up. Keep in mind that you may need to expand on some concepts. You may need to explain that animals age at a faster rate than humans do.
Your Child is Not at Fault for Why a Pet Died
Your child may feel like they were the reason your pet passed away. Explain to them that they are not the reason your pet died. Don’t tell them that their pet ran away, and or went to live somewhere better. That can also leave an emotional stress upon your child. Don’t make promises you can’t keep regarding your pet’s death. That may make it less likely that they’d be willing to accept another pet later on.
Remember to be Honest About Your Situation
The best thing you can do for your child is to be honest about the situation. Whether the pet has just passed away, or suffered an illness that will lead to their death, tell the truth. Sometimes that may mean even mean preparing your child for what is to come. When children know you are being honest about the situation, they feel more comfortable discussing their feelings with you. Failing to do so can create more problems for your children, which can leave them more confused about the situation.
For more information on helping children cope with losing a pet, call Eternal Life Cremation Services, LLC, at (724) 547-2468. Follow us on Facebook. Our team is ready to discuss more about pet cremation services with you. We hope our suggestions with helping children cope with losing a pet work for you.