Children & Pet Loss: Ages 6 - 11 years
Ages 6 - 11 years
Children ages 6 – 11 years are able to understand that death is final. They understand that their pet is gone, will not be coming back home, and may show periodic signs of grief. Interestingly enough, this age group believes that death can be avoided and only happens to other people/families. Some children believe that their pet died because they (the child) did something bad and the death of the pet is a punishment. Due to this belief, it is possible they could begin to display anger toward the deceased pet, voice that they didn’t want the pet, and are glad that it is now gone.
To help a child through these feelings, you can suggest that they:
· draw pictures of the pet
· write a letter to the pet
· do a journal on how they are feeling
Please note that all of the aforementioned belongs to the child and should be shared only if the child communicates interest in doing so.
Always do your best to make yourself available should the child want to talk and/or needs a hug. Finally, keep their days normal and positive.