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Helping Children Cope With the Loss of a Family Pet


Animals make wonderful companions, offering a bit of comfort on those pretty rough days. This special bond can bring smiles during even some of the most difficult times. Unfortunately, though, there are times when this connection must break. Pets may get sick or simply pass away from old age. No matter the reason, the loss is hard to bear, especially for little ones. Parents could help their children handle the sadness by doing the following three things.

1. Be Open and Honest
It's tempting to cover up the event, creating a story that plays down the heartbreak. Sheltering loved ones from the truth, though, isn't always beneficial. Talk to youngsters about the situation. Explain that your furry friend is sick and that the doctor has done everything possible. Speak in words that are age-appropriate, and be clear that it isn't a choice. This loss is inevitable. When little minds learn that this may create peace and heal wounds, they might learn to see death as a passing that isn't as bad as it first appears.


2. Say a Heartfelt Goodbye
Say farewell formally. Plan a time to share time together, telling different memories. Plan a burial, and look into family pet cremation San Francisco CA. If the loss is particularly tragic, have a special urn made to commemorate your friend. Go for a walk on your dog's favorite trail. Enjoy a treat, or look at old pictures together.


3. Acknowledge Emotions
Expect to witness a range of emotions. Sadness may overwhelm little hearts, and anger could also appear. This is a natural response. Encourage everyone to be aware of how they feel and talk to each other. Show youth that you are impacted as well. Don't hold back tears on their account. When you cry, they might realize that they too are reacting in a normal way.

Grieving takes time. Allow the heart to feel, and be patient. Talk through the hard times, and try to comfort children as much as possible.



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