Boulou ball of hair, his little playmate, is dead. How to announce this disappearance to your child and help him overcome it?
Between games and hugs, your child and his ball of hair were inseparable. This disappearance upsets you so much more than it will have to announce the news.
His cat is dead. What to tell him?
- The truth ! Above all, do not hide your child's death from his animal. Do you think that he will avoid being sad by telling him that his cat has been stolen or lost? Forget ! To say that he is "gone" will only increase his anguish. He will wonder what fault he may have committed for his friend to go away. In addition, he will wait for his return, which may make it more difficult to accept a new animal. Not to mention that his confidence in you may take a hit the day he understands the truth.
- Whether it's a traffic accident, a natural death or an illness Having euthanized the animal, report the facts as they occurred. Of course not in detail, but explain to him, for example, that the veterinarian had to permanently put his cat to sleep with a sting to prevent him from suffering. Be clear: the animal will not come back, but it does not hurt anymore.
- Do not hide your own sadness. It is normal that the disappearance of the animal affects you too. Above all, stay yourself. Repressing your tears would encourage your child to do the same. However, sharing a sentence with him can help him later to express other sufferings.
How will he react?
Each child's reaction, which will sometimes surprise you. It's up to you to adapt to his behavior. Here's how :
- He does not cry? Before age 5, death is poorly understood. A child does not imagine it as a permanent state, nor irreversible, but as something temporary, a bit like sleep. Do not think he displays indifference. He misses his companion, but especially for games. He expects his return soon.It is only later, from 7 or 8 years, that a child reacts with more emotion. He is then able to understand this definitive departure.