“Can we get a pet? I promise I’ll take care of it! You won’t have to do anything. I’ll feed it, and walk it, and clean up after it. Please, mom! I really want a pet!”
Ah yes, the promises of a child who wants a pet. This is something that many parents can relate to. For some children, the idea of having a pet can be all-consuming. Sure, there are plenty of benefits and teaching opportunities to be had for families who have a pet. On the flip side, there is also a lot of added responsibility and work, depending on the type of pet.
A pet can be a joyful addition to a family, and even more when the responsibility is shared. A little careful planning will help make owning and caring for a pet a great bonding experience, not just a bunch of extra chores.
- Before you get a pet, write a list of reasonable and age-appropriate responsibilities for your child to agree to and follow.
- Agree to take on one of two tasks, so the child won’t feel overwhelmed when reality sets in.
- Reinforce your child’s promises with a reward system for following through.