Tips In Helping Children Recover From Pet Loss Grief

Posted on July 15, 2012
Filed Under Self Improvement | Leave a Comment

When parents decide to have a pet at home, it is a decision that they usually make for the happiness of their children. For majority of these kids, pets are not just there to play with them. Instead they are creatures that can bring happiness, teach the value of responsibility, help them de-stress and as a whole make good friends. Considering this, it is safe to assume that during the entire stay of a pet in any household, most of the hours are spent with children. Hence, children are likely to experience pet loss grief with the death of a pet. As a mom or dad, you are probably faced with the challenge of helping your child recover from the loss. This is so because you know for yourself that you are also having a hard time coping up. But because you are the adult, then you should be responsible enough to help the kids out.

In this pursuit, it is imperative for parents to keep in mind that patience is important. It is natural for children to discuss the topic again and again so you should be patient. Aside from this, you should give your children the opportunity to work through their grief. Let them express their grief openly and let them see you express your grief as well. Always make sure that when you talk about what happened, you do it with all honesty. Also, as what Christian counseling experts would have it, you have to use age-appropriate language when you talk to your kids about death and grief. You should not use statements like God took the pet or the pet is just sleeping. These can give them false fears – fear that God will take them or their loved ones and fear of sleeping. It is also recommended that your children be involved in all the activities following the death of the pet. Give them permission to participate in the burial service. Allow them to contribute ideas to how the memorial service should be done. If in any case a child doesn’t want to join the service, let him have that liberty as well.

Also, part of your pursuit to help your child recover is to educate him about the permanency of death. Further, don’t commit the mistake of immediately getting another pet to replace the lost one. This can make a child feel disloyal and give him the wrong impression that grief can be overcome simply by buying a replacement for what was lost. While it is true that pet loss grief counseling is not as serious as substance abuse counseling, it has to be given careful consideration just the same. Learning helpful tips on how to do it best can greatly ease the recovery process for both you and your kids. Be patient and try to give your kids plenty of hugs and reassurance.

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