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January 19th, 2010

Helping Children When A Pet Dies

The family pet may have always made your child laugh or listened to your child’s secrets. When a pet dies, that loss can be especially troubling for children. It may be the child’s first experience with death, or it can trigger memories of an earlier loss. This can raise feelings of sadness, grief, guilt, or anger.

It may be comforting for the child to share good memories of the cherished pet. Some children might like to draw pictures or write notes about the pet. Talking about how the child showed love and tenderness toward the pet can be especially healing.

Some children may not rebound after the loss of their pet. For these youngsters, the death represents a trauma. Sometimes, children re-play the traumatic event over and over in their minds, and for example, keep thinking about their pet being hit by a car or being put to sleep. Children also may suffer from bad dreams The Buld Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids™ teaches effective coping strategies to handle big problems. Children can quickly learn tools to turn off the scariest and saddest of thoughts, and ways to deal with bad dreams. They learn how to think in accurate and comforting ways when dealing with change and loss. These are only a few of the twenty powerful tools contained in the Tool Kit, which teaches a comprehensive system of staying strong in the face of difficulty, and helps children know that in time they will be OK.