Pets have been regarded as the best companion that a man can have. They extend endless love and companionship to human beings and expect nothing in return. Pets fill our lives with amazing memories of emotional support and unconditional love. Naturally, we share a very emotional bond with our pets and feel devastated after it dies. While adults can come to terms with the loss, it is extremely difficult for the kids to deal with this unfortunate event. The death of their beloved pet is probably the first time they have had such a close encounter with the harsh reality of life. As a concerned parent, it is important to protect your kids from various negative thoughts and help them to get over the death of their beloved pet.
Helping Kids Cope with the Loss of Pet
Death is a cold reality which gets to everyone, but kids are too young to understand this fact. When kids lose their pet, they are pretty confused and very emotional. As a parent, you can make sure that your kids accept the loss of the pet smoothly by following the given pointers.
Prepare your Kids in Advance
As an adult, you probably know about the pet's ailing condition and it is a good idea to discuss the animal's death before it actually happens. Talk to your kids about this and explain to them why the pet won't be around after some days.
While breaking the bad news, be honest. Avoid telling lies and half truths. It would be quite difficult for kids to accept what has happened at first, but they will surely understand with time. Lying to them about their pet's death will give rise to more confusion and will not help their emotional condition. Tell your kids that the pet has died and left this earth for a much better place.
Be very Gentle While Speaking
Don't just walk up to the kid and break the bad news. If your kid was away when the pet died, have a face to face conversation and explain to him/her what happened. It is quite natural that your kid will have become very emotional and start crying. Be supportive of the crying as it is the best way to release the truly felt emotions.
Have a Pet Funeral
Though it may sound pretty lame to a lot of adults, this is very important for the kids. Having a proper burial ceremony helps them face the reality. You can make arrangements for the pet to get buried in the backyard or a lawn. Encourage the kids to draw some pictures of the pet which could be pinned to the coffin or buried with them. This move may not help your kids forget the pet right away but it is a good start and helps the kids to understand that their pet is no longer alive.
Honor the Pet's Memory
Every pet is very special to its family and is twice as special to the young ones. Help your kids to pay tribute to the pet. Parents and kids can grow a plant or get a decorative tombstone with the pet's photo on it. Kids can also create a scrapbook which will contain photos of the pet. Some pet owners also cremate their pets, it is an individual choice. However, it is very important to involve the kids in the decision-making process. This allows the kids to remember the long gone pet in a happy way.
To overcome the grief of death, some parents bring in new pets in the house. In such a case, parents should never rush their kids into accepting a new pet in their lives. Get a new pet when you know that a considerable amount of time has passed since the old pet has died and the kids are ready to move on.