Pet Loss and Children: More Tips To Help
Post pictures of the pet around the house
While your family will never have the pet back in the house that does not mean that you have to forget the pet. During your time together you probably took many pictures with the pet. You should encourage your child to pick places in the house to post pictures throughout the house. These pictures will help your child remember the pet that they once knew and loved. Having pictures of your deceased pet throughout the house is an excellent way to remember the pet and help your child cope.
Encourage your child to talk about the pet
If you had lost a loved one, then you would still talk about your memories of that loved one with people you loved. While it can be tempting to avoid bringing up the pet in conversation it is important to make sure that your child feels comfortable talking about the pet. Over dinner talk about your favorite memories of the pet and ask your child what his or her favorite memories of the pet are. Encouraging your child to discuss and remember their pet will help them cope better. While you may have talked a bit about the pet after it died, it is important to occasionally reflect on the life of your wonderful pet.
Wait before buying a new pet
Your child probably will not be ready to purchase a new pet right away. At first your child may feel like buying a new pet will be replacing all of the memories of the pet that they once loved. Give your child the opportunity to fully grieve the loss of the beloved pet before you even bring up buying a new pet. You will know when it is the right time to bring up a new pet. Giving your child a chance to reflect on the life of their old pet before getting a new pet.
Give your child input into the new pet
When it is finally time to buy a new pet for your family you should give your child as much input into the next pet as possible. Ask them what type of pet they would like to have and whether they want a girl or a boy. Whether you are getting a pet from the shelter or you are going to a pet store for the pet, you should take your child to the pet store to pick out the pet as well. This will allow your child to form an emotional bond with the pet. Within all likelihood your child will begin to form a new friendship with the pet as well.
Always remember the good times with the pet
Even as you move on and include a new pet into your family it is important to still value the memories of the old pet. Keep the pictures of the pet up for as long as your child wants them up. If your child picked a birthday for your pet, then you may want to take your child to the grave of the pet with flowers. Giving your child a chance to honor the memory of the pet is an excellent way to honor your child’s feelings and teach them how people grieve.
Taking the steps to make sure your child goes through a proper grieving and remembrance process will pay major dividends as your child grows up. Throughout the process it is important to respect your child’s feelings as much as possible and be open to any of their suggestions in regards to the pet.