When our children are old enough to talk about having a pet in the household, the biggest mistake most of us make is underestimating the overall responsibility. We all need to consider a number of things before adopting a pet but our children really do understand the impact having an impact can have on everyone. Here are a few things for your children to understand before adopting a pet.
The Ongoing Responsibility
Many kids make the mistake of thinking that a pet is just a plaything, but a pet has its own needs. If you want to teach your children about what pets need, you can go to a friend’s house that has a pet and allow your child to spend some time with them so they can see how much of a commitment it is in terms of the walking and the feeding and water intake.
Here is more info about why animals need food and water that your child may benefit from watching. Your child needs to understand all the commitments, from the exercising to the feeding, and really ask themselves if they can keep up their end of the bargain.
The Period of Adjustment
As parents, we remember fully well what it was like when we brought our children home and there was very little in the way of sleep. There is a period of adjustment that we all need to be ready for. Baby dogs can cry during the night during the first few days in a new home and this can be a major disruption. If your child is of the age where they are now getting homework will they be able to focus on their work and do their bit to look after the dog?
If your child is someone that really loves their sleep, this can pose a major problem because while you want your child to understand their responsibilities, if they’re going to be incredibly grumpy and the responsibility falls to you, your child is not learning the lessons and not taking their part of the responsibility seriously. However, after the adjustment period, they eventually settle, so it may be worth preparing your child for the fact that there could be a few sleepless nights in the house.
Pets Do Not Live as Long as We Do
Talking about this is merely down to a matter of preference. There are many amazing reasons for your children to have a pet; it can help them process emotions and provide unwavering love, but there may need to be a discussion about the fact that pets do not live as long as we do.
While we don’t want to prepare our children for the fact that a pet is going to die, we also need to weigh up whether our children would be able to process this based on their age. Many people see the death of a pet as being similar to the death of a family member, and depending on your personal preference, you may want to avoid this for now, or on the other hand, view this as an amazing lesson in how to process grief.
There are so many lessons we can all learn from owning a pet. If your child really wants a pet these are three components that you may wish to bear in mind.
This is a collaboration post