How to help a child with the loss of a pet. When your child’s beloved pet dies, as an adult, we experience a double whammy. Not just because the pet has died, but also because watching your child grieving the loss of pet is truly heartbreaking.
Children are more in touch with their feelings and have less filters around them than adults do. This means that their grief can be more visible and more dramatic than most adults allow themselves to be.
If you want to help child with loss of pet, there are several things that I’ve learned, as a psychic animal communicator for over two decades, that can help. This is because almost every day in my work, I help people understand death and animals.
From grief to relief to sadness and even to freedom, the death of a pet is certainly a complicated experience for adults. When you add children into the mix however, moving through the process can feel like wading through wet cement. Here are guidelines I’ve learned through connecting with animals that have crossed over for supporting your child through these difficult moments:
Everyone Handles Death Differently
When you want to help a child with loss of pet, it may be tempting to judge your child’s behavior. Your daughter may want to spend time in her room with her beloved cat’s photos and favorite toy while your son may want to go out and play. Neither method of coping is wrong, just different. Honor these by not judging them.
Sometimes, this alone time can result in a visit by your pet who is now on the Other Side and children are much more in tune intuitively. If your child returns to tell you this, be positive! Instead of poo-pooing their experience, let them have it.
Wait for a message to bring a new pet into the home
While it may seem like a good idea to offer to get another pet right away, this can actually mask emotions that your child needs to experience. It can also push your child to feel like even more is out of her control. Let your child take the lead on this. Until she says “ok, I would like to have another cat in our life” don’t offer. The healthiest way to move through this process is through release and time not replacement.
Sometimes the animal that has crossed over will be the one to deliver the message. If your child says she had a dream or an imaginary conversation with her pet on the other side with a message about when to bring another animal in, heed that message! Children are much less judgmental about intuitive experiences.
Although your child is grieving the loss of her pet, when you listen to your child’s message, you empower her. And empowerment is very helpful when you are deeply grieving.
Prepare your Child for the upcoming loss (if possible)
If you have the opportunity, begin preparing your child for the animal’s passing. Often, just by you, the parent, opening the door to this idea, they child’s mind can open. Shielding her from such a natural fact of life will only make it more difficult later on, but allowing your child to say a goodbye can be a healing experience for you, your child and your pet.
Additionally, to help your child with the loss of the pet, you’re giving her the opportunity to connect more deeply and perhaps even receive a message from the pet, while the pet is still alive. Animals often psychically communicate with adults and they psychically communicate even more often with children. Take advantage of this by being honest with your child.
Stop Trying to Fix the Grief
Sometimes, people who want to help child with loss of pet, try to control the situation. You really cannot “fix” your child’s grief. If the child is very young, you can certainly distract her, but the grief would remain. To help your child deal with the loss of a pet, the best thing you can do is be there for support. Ask a nudging question here and there and volunteer an ear in case she decides to talk about her feelings. Take everything your child says seriously. For our young ones, losing a pet is just as challenging (and sometimes even more challenging) as losing a human family member.
When your child is grieving the loss of her pet, you really cannot control how your child feels, you can only support them through their process. Listen to their stories. Offer to get them an animal communication reading so they can hear from their pet (look here for my list of certified animal communicators). Simply believe their experience!
Your Process for Helping a Child with the Loss of Pet
You have your own grieving process to go through as well—so concentrating too much focus and energy on your child can mask your own feelings and emotions. The healthiest way for you to move through this is by giving to yourself, not giving to everyone else.
Our animals that have crossed over are still with us. They know what we’re doing, what we’re thinking, and even when we go to bed. It doesn’t matter whether they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge. Your child innately knows this and now you do too!