Helping Children After Pet Loss
Pet loss isn’t easy for anyone. Adults have an advantage because most of them have dealt with some type of loss in the past. Children, on the other hand, may not have felt the pain of losing someone close to them. This is why it’s important to support children during this difficult time. You can support them in this way.
Children have a lot of emotions and thoughts they do not understand after losing a pet. Talking to them will help them process everything that is going on inside of them. It’s important to sit down and take the time to hear them out because they need to feel as though someone is there for them.
Children often have a lot of questions after a pet dies. Answer the questions as clearly and concisely as possible. They want answers because they are learning what death is and how to deal with it. The way you answer questions now will help them not only deal with the death of your pet now, but any future deaths they suffer. This is a chance to help your children successfully deal with this traumatic situation in life by giving them effective coping skills.
Give Them Time
Don’t expect your children to bounce back from the death of the family pet in just a day or two. Just like adults, each child is different in how they recover from a death.
What’s another thing to keep in mind is that some children will appear to have jumped back, but then revert the next day. This is perfectly normal. Feelings are not constant, as you probably already know. Some days, they will feel fine, while other days, they won’t feel as happy. Ride the waves with them, so you can be there for whatever they are dealing with at the moment.
Be Easy on Them
Added stress during a stressful time can put children over the edge. Don’t push them during this sensitive time. Just go ahead and be easy on them by ensuring that they won’t end up dealing with even more. As they start to feel better, you can start to bring life back to normal again with chores, and other requirements you have for them.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
Some children need more help than you can provide them. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong. It just means they need a little more coaching and analyzing. Some children and adults are just like that, and you can help by setting up an appointment for them.
If you set up an appointment with a counselor, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t done a good job. It just means your children need additional sources to help. It’s a good thing that your children see that there are many ways to get the support they need, so they can keep searching until they find it.
Hug your children right now. They need you more than ever. This situation will pass and they will be better people because of it.