As you talk about your invisible strings, take some yarn, rope, fabric, old shoelaces, or anything you can think of to create "strings" for each family member! Talk about how they represent your invisible strings that connect you all as a family. Allow your child to put their string in their backpack to keep with them at school, so if they are feeling sad or missing you, they can have a tangible reminder of their invisible string!
Activity: Create a memorial
By posting small reminders of the pet throughout the house you are reminding your child that loss is a natural part of life, but it doesn't always have to be sad. Those still living get to remember the good times had with the deceased.
More grief books after losing a pet
Activity: Family Contract!
All together, sit down and discuss your family's values, then create a contract that follows those values and leads to a common goal. In the contract, include responsibilities for each family member (such as chores), choices and consequences, rules to follow, and behaviors that are and are not appropriate.
As you come up with your contract, make sure everyone has a voice and gets an opportunity to share their opinion. Doing this will support a shared sense of ownership in the contract.
Lastly, when coming up with rules for the house, try to reframe them in a positive way. Instead of "no running" try "use walking feet" or "do not slam the doors" try "please shut doors carefully." Sometimes wording can make all the difference!
Print out the picture below or cut out your own and let your child decorate it in all the ways he or she is special!
If your child is struggling to keep his/her toys or room clean, you might want to consider a rewards chart! It can be as simple as giving your child a smiley face on days that he/she completes a chore, like cleaning up toys, putting away clothes, or putting the electronics back in the correct place.
Set a goal of 4 smileys in a row to earn a special reward. Grow the goal to 5, 6 or 7 days as they show improvement to help strengthen their ability to behave responsibly.
Don't let the rewards cause you too much stress! They can be simple such as letting your child stay up for an extra hour to watch a movie, letting your child pick out a special snack one day, allowing your child to choose what's for dinner one night. Rewards don't always have to mean new toys or trips to the ice cream shop.
I HAVE CREATED LESSONS THAT CAN BE COMPLETED AS A FAMILY. THESE LESSONS HAVE A WIDE VARIETY OF THEMES AND PURPOSES. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE REACH OUT!