Pets can change a person’s life. Being around them means companionship, comfort, a healthy lifestyle, and learning values like kindness and empathy. Overall, they’re just fun to be around, not to mention how cute and loving they are! That’s why it’s great for kids to have pets around the household.
Moreover, dogs, cats, horses, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs—practically every pet there is—have long been considered family members. Gone are the days when parents give their children a pet, usually a dog, to teach them responsibility. Instead, among families, children love and care for their furry (or not-so-furry) friends as best friends or siblings of their own and even include them in their routines.
Unfortunately, owners don’t get to spend the rest of their lives with their pets as they do. And when they experience loss, most pet owners go through immense grief and mourning. Grown-ups might know how to handle this better, but it’s different and much more difficult for children to understand this circumstance. In addition, this sudden change or loss can be traumatizing. This trauma is more likely to happen if they experience this grief for the first time with someone they’re firmly attached to.
Remember your very first heartbreak? Now that you’re older, how would you explain this heartbreak to a child? How will you tell them that their furry companion has died? Expressing this pain can be challenging, especially if you’re going through the same. One of the best ways to do this is by giving personalized gifts. Here are three reasons to help you decide on this:
1. It’s A Way Of Memorializing Your Pet
Loving a pet can be a form of unconditional love. This is because of the emotional bond owners build with their fur babies. Given their young minds and hearts, children may need a constant reminder of their furry best friend who crossed the rainbow bridge. By giving your child a personalized gift, you’re preserving their memory and constantly reminding them of the unconditional love they have for their dearest pet.
If you’re looking for personalized gifts for someone who has lost a pet, here’s a short list:
- Keychain, locket, or mug with your pet’s picture on it
- Bracelet or necklace with your pet’s name
- Customized pillow or stuffed toy
- Portrait of your child or your family with your pet
- Personalized book to share a story your child has experienced with your pet
2. It Will Help Them Go Through The Grieving Process
There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Children, albeit young, also go through these stages. And while people may express these emotions differently, children are no exemption. For example, some may throw tantrums after discovering their pet’s loss, while others may be in shock and deep sadness.
In these trying times, parents must guide their children through these emotions to fully understand their feelings and reach the final stage—acceptance.
While the loss may be sudden, and the circumstance may be traumatizing to a child, a personalized gift can help mend their emotions and acknowledge the situation. Moreover, your gift will comfort them as they embrace the loss and move forward.
3. It Can Be A Way To Sympathize With Them
Children may struggle to understand their emotions when experiencing pet loss, especially when they’re young. Personalized gifts can be your way of telling them that you know what they’re going through and their emotions. In addition, the gift can be your way of telling them you’re sorry for their loss.
Moreover, you can take this as an opportunity to teach your child how to empathize with others. For instance, you can ask them, ‘How would you feel if you’ve lost a friend? How would your parents or siblings feel if they’ve lost a friend?’ If they understand this, you can further explain that a person’s emotions vary. In the same way, how a person copes with loss can be different from one person to another.
Losing a pet can be just as difficult as losing a loved one, and children are no exception. The younger your child is, the stronger the bond they create with your pet. In effect, it is more difficult for them to accept the loss.
With the reasons discussed above, you’ll know why giving a personalized gift can help your child with their pet loss. Although a personalized gift will not magically erase the pain, it can help your grieving child slowly grasp their emotions, find their way to cope, and, eventually, accept the loss.