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For children, pets are more than just animals: they are their best friends and an integral part of their family. The little ones often find in their pet the company and comfort they need at times when they feel sad, lack of attention, when they are sick, etc. That is, pets are capable of providing children with many moments of joy.
Unfortunately, nothing is forever and at some point in life they will grieve for their loss due to the longevity of the animal or a disease. This time can be very difficult for little ones. How can we help you overcome the death of your pet?
The desire of parents is to protect their children from painful experiences, but this is not always possible. The death of the pet can be a traumatic moment for the little one. It may be the first time the child has faced death and the loss of a loved one. Therefore, we adults must be gentle when facing this situation with them, since with our support in the grieving process, children can learn to face other losses they have in their lives.
Adults must help the child to accept that death with love and patience. Comfort him and give him all the love he needs and also:
- The most important thing is the child's age. The younger the children, the less they will understand what has happened. Between 3 and 5 years old, they do not understand what death means and they think that the event will be something temporary and that the animal will return. Between approximately 6 and 8 years of age, they already understand this situation and the consequences it entails. Around the age of 10, they understand death as a totally irreversible event. Thus, it will be important to adapt the speech but without lying at any time and making it clear to the child that his pet will not return.
- Be clear and sincere. Even if the truth is sad, it must be told clearly, so as not to confuse you. Children accept these types of experiences better when they are given sincere explanations, adapted to their level of understanding and allowed to express their pain. Giving vague answers, avoiding answering, or telling them "white lies" such as telling them that the pet "is sleeping" only creates confusion in the little ones and can be counterproductive.
- Let the child express his feelings. It is normal for you to miss your pet, to feel angry or jealous for the pets of your friends, it is part of the grief you have to go through.
- Remember the pet. In moments of nostalgia it is good to talk about the pet. Talk about the moments lived with her.
- Go preparing for the event. If we adults know that the animal will die in a short time due to advanced age or illness, it is good that the fact is discussed with the children, so that they can express their feelings and be able to say goodbye to the pet.
- It is not advisable to replace the animal right away. The child must mourn for a few days. The child will be the one who will say when they feel like starting another relationship with a new pet.
You can read more articles similar to How to help your child overcome the loss of their pet, in the category of Pets for children on site.