Are your kids begging for a pet?
As parents, we often try to think of different ways we can instill in our children the values that we want them to learn as they grow. Of course, some parents are content with merely extolling the virtues of different personality traits like responsibility and honesty, but the best way to teach a child anything is not by saying but by doing. In my personal experience raising kids, getting a pet for your child is one of the best ways to teach your child several different values. If you are considering getting your child a furry or feathered friend, here are a few things to think about:
- Select a pet based on your child's maturity.
Different children mature at different rates, so it really depends what your child will be ready for in terms of a pet. It's important to understand that all pets deserve significant attention, but dogs tend to be considerably more time-consuming. If you feel your child is too young to handle taking an animal on walks, bathing it, and training it, then it's better to start off with a low-maintenance animal like a hamster.
- Help your child restructure her schedule to make time for her new friend.
No matter what kind of pet you eventually decide on, your child will have to make time to care and attend to her new friend. Help your child figure out a new schedule that makes time for the pet. If the dog needs to go on daily walks, have you and your child wake up earlier to squeeze in half an hour before the school day starts. Conversely, you can schedule walks or play time later in the day. Just be sure that the pet becomes a priority for your child.
- Make sure that your child spends plenty of time with a prospective pet before choosing one.
It's important, especially if we're talking about a dog or a cat, that your child's personality meshes well with the prospective pet. If your child is quiet and likes to spend time doing calm activities, then getting an energetic terrier would be a terrible idea. In the same way, if your child is active, consider getting your child a pet that can keep up with her energy. The best way to make sure that your pet and child will get along well is to spend time with each other before bringing the animal home. Most shelters, pet stores, and breeding kennels provide ample time for a potential owner to do this.
- Monitor your child and her interactions with the new pet to avoid dangerous situations.
Even though one of the motivating factors of getting a pet for your child is to ostensibly teach her responsibility, you should know that, especially for young kids, you should supervise the time your child spends with its pet. Young children are often unaware of boundaries, and may inadvertently harm the pet, causing the animal to retaliate. For more information on kids and pets, check out this ASPCA webpage. Good luck!
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at accredited online colleges about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5@ gmail.com.