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How do I help a 6 yr old cope with grief and separation anxiety?

My 6 year old daughter just had her first lesson on the permanece of death with her first pet- our dog. A terrible accident while she was at school in which I accidentally ran over the 15 year old dog- killing it instantly. She took it as well as could be expected, but it was hard on us all. Since then, she has been terribly clingy and not wanting to be far away from me.

The following week, I was injured in a horse riding accident and broke my leg so badly that I had to be hospitalized and required surgery. I was away from home for 2 days, but I am now home. Before these two incidents, she loved school and had no problem with being away from me..Now she cries when she leaves the house and is really very sad at school..She has tried several times to get sent home "sick"..

I try to make sure the time she is here with me is special, but I am still in pain and have limited movement. Any suggestions?

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Asked by weaselmom at 4:37 PM on Mar. 23, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (4)
  • A child psychologist would be awesome, another thing that helped my oldest was play therapy. Find her someone to talk to. Someone who is trained in this area will know just what to say to get her to share and discuss her feelings. Good luck.

    Answer by Steff107 at 4:43 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Awww, poor kid. Could you send a special item with her that might let her know you will be back soon. Like a picture, a bracelet of yours, anything that will remind her that you are close and will be back soon.

    Like the above post said: she might need to talk to someone who can explain it to her on her level.

    I hope she is ok soon!

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 4:50 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Contact your school and ask to speak to the counselor or school psychologist. Explain to them exactly what you just posted. They can help you both work through all this. It is very important that she gets some help. It can effect the way she deals with death and loss later on.


    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 4:58 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Last year my dad passed away. My family had lived with my parents since I got pregnant with my sons. One of the twins found it easier to draw pictures and we talked about my dad a lot. My other son had shut himself off from everyone, including me. I stuggled to even get him to eat. This past January my mom was in an accident with all three of my children in the car. My son jumped out of the car to help my mom. It was 15 below 0. My children were ok but my mom had to have surgury. I made sure that as soon as the kids could see my mom I brought them to the hospital to reassure them that she was ok. Before I was able to bring them in I had to answer many times that Grandma wasn't going to go live with grandpa yet. My sons is just starting to come out of his room to tell me or ask my for something. I have spent eight months trying to get my son to where he is now. I wish I would have tried the counselor earlier.

    Answer by preciousfamily at 12:44 AM on Mar. 24, 2009

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