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How to get children to take care of their own pets?

by annep (follow)
Parenting (216)      Kids (112)      Education (92)      Pets (52)     
Photo: Mmanasco - wikimedia commons

Many parents believe that getting their child a pet will help teach them responsibility. After all, caring for a pet is no easy task. Still, does it really work? I often hear frustrated parents complaining about having to walk, feed, house train and clean up after the pets. Oh, it all starts out by their child begging to have a pet, promising that they will do all the work. But after a while, the new pet becomes their parents' responsibility.

Have you or anyone you know ever been in this situation? What do you think parents can do to get their child to take part in the pet's care?

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My mother threatened to take the husky back if my brother still refused to keep his promise and walk the little puppy. Not that it worked for her. I think this is a common problem with children. You just have to teach them slowly, maybe encourage them to take part in the caring while making it fun. Don't expect them to take all the responsibility or you'll be disappointed.
Get them excited and enrolled in the process of a new animal coming into the domain. Also explain in a fun way that there are some responsibilities that need to be considered such as walking a dog, and cleaning after a pets mess. My nieces so get this with their new pup - they're keen to take him for walks everyday.
My daughter wanted fish, and I told her that it is her responsibility. After much debate I decided to give her a chance to show she can step up and look after a pet. She proved that she could, however if it was a pet like a dog or cat I think it would be fair to say that the whole family would be involved. That is because I believe a dog or cat is part of the family and is dependent on all of us to look after it.
Delegate tasks on a calendar or daily schedule; looking after pets requires a lot of hard work and dedication!

Start with cheaper pets like goldfish or mice, and work up to more expensive pets like certain dog breeds once they have shown they are capable.
Take turns to do the chores (walk the dog, clean the poop), but start by doing it together and leading your child by example.
Pets do not teach responsibility necessarily. Pets are relatively easily to manage. Chores teach responsibility.
unfortunately you often cannot!
by Finy
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