Children have a difficult time coping with the loss of a pet because they don’t understand death as well as adults. It’s important to be sympathetic to children’s feelings, help them understand the loss and comfort them through the grief process.
“Help them remember and channel their grief in positive ways, such as drawing, writing a story or poem, or doing a family scrapbook,” suggested Laura A. Toth of Wisconsin, who has lost a bird.
“Children hurt just as much as adults do, and often a pet is their first real loss,” she continued. “They don’t know how to express their feelings in a constructive way. If you are too bereaved to help them, ask a friend or someone you know who will not minimize their feelings. It also helps to notify their teachers, as this kind of experience can affect their ability to pay attention or behave in class.”