Teaching children the responsibility of caring for pets – Part 13

Have your kids asked you the two age old questions. Can we keep it? Can we have one of those? How do you explain to your children the responsibilities of caring for an animal?

Many parents start off by hesitating and have a nervous feeling about their children be responsible for something other than homework or chores. Depending on the age of the child this is a major step in the direction of setting up responsibilities that will teach them how to care for a living creature that needs attention and love. Parents need to remind the children how to care for a pet by explaining to them the duties they would have to do in order to care for whatever animal they decide to get. Often it is explained that they have to love and play with them as if they would with their siblings. A pet is in more ways than one like a baby if you get a pup or a kitten and such of the like. You have to love, pay attention, feed, and play with it to gain and keep a bond with the animal. They depend on you to care for them and often become sad pets if they are not looked after properly. They have feeling just as humans do.

When your child is ready to own a pet, set a schedule of when they are to care for the animals necessities such as feeding, grooming, etc. that will revolve around normal chore work around the house. When the child takes out the garbage, use that time for the child to feed the pet if it is kept outside. When the child goes out to play, have them take the pet with them so there is play time between the child and pet. There is no set way to explain to your children the responsibility of taking care of an animal. There will always be kinks in the road when the child wants to ride the pet like a pony or grab their tail to see what will happen. It is part of the learning experience. Helping your child to understand the basics of caring for a pet will build them a better stepping stone that will enable them to love and care for others as they grow older.

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