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Mommy SOS | Explaining the Death of a Pet to a Child

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I am calling out to all Scottsdale Moms Blog readers for your take on how to talk to your kids about the death of a family pet.

I have a loving, energetic and emotional almost-three-year-old who loved our beloved yellow laborador retriever. I need advice from those of who have delt with this difficult this situation, and specifically how you communicated the passing with your kids.

One of my problems is in the HOW. How do you tell a toddler about the death of a pet? What words to you use? Do you say they died or passed away? What does that conversation look like?

I started to talk to her about how Lacey (our nine-year-old Lab) was really sick and old and she went to a really fun place, where they make lots of bones for her to eat and she gets to run really fast in a big grassy field. This has been working but her curiousity and questions come more frequently as the days pass.

“Where did Lacey go?” “Lacey went to a fun place, no more sick?” “I miss Lacey!”

In what ways have you delt with this situation and communicated this to your kids? How do you manage the questions when they come up?

Also, my daughter has started saying she wants to go where Lacey is. Now what do I say? I want her to believe that the place is beautiful, amazing and not scary, but now she wants to go there.

I would love to hear what the Scottsdale Moms Blog readers what do or say in this situation. 

PS – I am totally open to advice from all faith backgrounds. I realize your answers will depend on your spirituality, as will mine. I am most interested in the actual language/words you’ve used to talk about death with a toddler or preschooler, and how you’ve fielded the follow-up questions. Thank you, moms!

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