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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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How to tell 6 year old the dog was given away

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Yesterday we had to get rid of our family dog, because of my fathers demand. I have a 6 year old nephew who is very sensitive and for example cryed and got hysterical when his turtle died ... Right now Aidyn thinks the dog ( Leo) is at doggy day care but we have to tell him ... What are your suggestions?

Sorry It took so long for an answer today Michelle.

thank you for consulting our service,
This is a difficult situation. This is a loss the same as pet dying. It would be best of he can be told that the adults in the family had to make a difficult decision to give Leo to another family. Ask him if he would like to see Leo's new home and meet his new family. If he says yes, then take him there and let him visit Leo. Then offer to take him again in about 2 weeks. By then, he will be over the initial stages of grief and it will be easier for him to say goodbye. But continue to offer the visits until he is no longer interested....he will eventually move on but he needs time to process this.

I hope this helps....

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Leo was taken to the animal shelter so I agree and understand what you are saying but Aidyn can't see him ... Sorry I wasn't clear
Hi again Michelle,
In that case, I would still tell him that the adults had to make a hard decision and that dog went to a new house. Just as you would in the case of a death, encourage him to express his sad feelings through drawing a picture of the dog and him doing something together. Offer to send the picture to the dog. Then, give him a framed picture of his beloved dog for his room or memory book.

I hope that helps and thanks for being such a good auntie to this little boy.
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