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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Our dog passed away around 4 months ago and my 3, well almost

Customer Question

Our dog passed away around 4 months ago and my 3, well almost 4 year old is having difficulty with his death. He mentions him on a Dailey basis and says he misses him so much, when can we go to heaven to see him.

Also, when he gets disciplined he cries out for out dog pokey. It's heart breaking and I don't know what to do? Help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. How did you dog pass away...illness or hit by a car? Thanks!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He was an older dog and passed away suddenly from old age.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for responding. It is normal for your son to be sad especially if this is his first experience with death. Be open and honest with him. Explain the concept of death according to your own personal and family values. Give your son more time to heal. It may even take a year or so. Let him speak about the pet as often as he needs to. This is part of the healing process and moving forward. Hopefully, you had some type for closure for the pet like a burial or memorial to show the importance of the pet's life. Put a picture of the pet in a frame in the house. Also let your son draw a picture of himself with the dog and put it up on the refrigerator. Ask your son where he thinks the pet is and let his imagination take over. It will help him if he expresses his feelings. Finally, you should get a new dog eventually but not just to replace the old pet. There is no rush. Time will heal all wounds and hurts.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

We have done all of the above but, he really still misses our dog.


What about when we discpline him, he cries out for our pokey. Do you think he is using it as a tactic to avoiding getting in trouble or as a coping mechanism? How do we discpline him when he starts crying for our dog that passed?

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
When he cries when getting in trouble and mentions the dog, just say that you understand how he feels. But quickly redirect his attention to his disobedience and how he needs to be behaving. Even at his young age, he is trying to manipulate you by crying for the dog. He feels as though if he cries out for the dog, you will feel sorry for him and forget his misbehavior. Continue to ignore his whining for the dog and discipline him appropriately according to your discipline system. He will have to learn sooner or later that he must stop the whining. Maybe create a simple behavior chart. If he can get through a day without whining and mentioning the dog, he gets a sticker for the day. After receiving 10 stickers, and they do not have to be on consecutive days, he gets a treat or a special outing. When he has a really good day, make a super big deal about it. Get him of characters that he really likes. Your goal is to try to change his behavior when he whines. Children often love trying to change their behavior for a reward. Make sure you let him know how he can receive a sticker. Hope this helps. Give it time. Be patient and persistent.

Take care.
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Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.