Even toddlers are aware of their world. We often make the mistake of assuming they are not noticing or listening, however, the opposite is really true. Toddler hood is the first time that a child is actively exploring this strange new place called the world. The parent is the navigator of that exploration. When you really think about it, it is an exciting time when everything is new and all things are possible. Unfortunately, toddlers lack the vocabulary to express their reactions to some experiences so we don’t always know what they are thinking. Talking to your toddler, empathizing with them, and giving them words for the sadness that results from a lost pet is the first step in helping your child develop coping skills that will last a lifetime. Take notice of changes in behavior that may indicate your toddler is struggling with a loss such as separation anxiety, sleep changes, lower frustration tolerance, changes in eating patterns. Use your words to help them identify their feelings.