How do you help your child deal with the death of a pet?
My two daughters have just lost their dog to cancer. It happened very quickly. Only two weeks. Unfortunately they lost their first dog to a stroke about a year ago. That was hard but I think this will be harder. What suggestions do you have for dealing with this lost not once but twice and in such a short period of time? My one daughter is a teenager and the other a just 11.
I'm a teenager and i just lost my pet rabbit. I've lost many pets through out my childhood so i know how it feels. I think the best approach is to be honest with your child. Don't say "It ran away" or "It wasn't supposed to happen" just tell them that everything has its own time to go. That the loved animal is now in heaven or in a better place. That the pet is very happy and misses the child as much as the child misses the pet. Don't try to stop your child from grieving, let them grieve but don't let them dwell. Don't offer to buy them a new pet until their ready. You don't want them to forget their old pet, but remember it with happiness.
you don't really need to do anything ... tell them the truth and let time take care of the rest ... when i was a about 4 or 5 my dad reversed the car over my kitten then at 11 my brother did the same with 2 of my other kittens ... i was angry with them for a couple of days and i still remember what happened such a long time ago but you have to learn to carry on... the way you act in the situation is how your children are going to react.
my dad didn't seem that bothered about the situation (he wasn't the soft type)... my brother genuinely apologized. what else can be done. whatever the case tell them the truth and show them how to handle the situation by your actions.
I agree with everything mhara_nicole said. I would just add having a funeral/burial/memorial ceremony where they can say good-bye, say what was great about this dog and what will be missed. I think this will help in the grieving process. Best wishes.
We just lost our hamster. She was not gone when I found her in her cage. Surprisingly, at 40 I was broken hearted and my daughter was handling it well. My mom came in with a soft baby blanket, put Bambi, our hammy, in it and talked gently to her. She told her we love her and she can let go, she can go see her mommy in heaven. It helped even at this age for my mom to show me that the last thing a pet hears should not be crying, it should be gentle and loving words.
After she passed, we buried her in the front garden in a lovely box with a beautiful handerchief. We told her again we loved her and asked God to look after her. We said we hope that she is happy and we will miss her.
My daughter is 12 and it helped her through the transition. We still talk about her and the funny things she used to do. We keep her memory alive and try to get to a place where death is not scary, just a transition.
I'm sorry to hear about your lost pets. Sending hugs your way.
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