Thursday, December 3, 2015

Should Your Child Have A Pet?

At some point, almost every child will ask to bring home a pet of some kind, whether it's a dog or a fish, a hamster or a snake. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when choosing the best pet for your family. Before you go on autopilot, think about why it actually might be a good idea to give in on this point. Here are a few benefits you and your child may reap from giving in:

Having a pet teaches a child responsibility.
No matter what the type, if you oversee your child and expect him/her to care for it, they will learn that keep an animal is a large undertaking and they will need to be diligent.

A pet can teach your child to love unconditionally.
Animals don't expect affection but they give it freely. Children learn quickly that even when they are angry or upset a pet can calm them down by giving them an unbiased ear.

By having to care for a pet your child will learn basic math skills.
This is needed to figure out the amount of food and water that must be fed, etc.

Children learn basic housekeeping skills by having to care for an animal, fish or reptile.
They'll perform daily skills like cleaning cages, floor "oops," and food and water spills.

Many children don't get enough exercise.
By having a walk a dog or cat this becomes routine and they learn to enjoy it.

A dog can protect your child when you're not with them.
You might be very happy you allowed a dog into your home, for instance, if the dog interfered with a suspicious stranger attempting to talk to your son or daughter. There are many documented cases of animals alerting owners to dangers like fire and storms.

Your child can learn to manage money if you include him/her in food shopping and supplies for a pet.
Give them a fictional amount of money and have them keep track of actual expenditures. Reward them for staying within the budget.

Patience is a virtue, and one that can definitely be learned by having an animal.
Rowdiness, house training, and simple obedience discipline takes lots of time and repetitiveness. Allow your child to do a good share of this work.

History and biology are things every pet owner can research and learn.
Take your child to the library and help him/her pick out books on the breed of animal/reptile you select so that they know how to care properly for it.

The type of pet you allow into your home is up to you.
They range from fish and reptiles, hamsters, mice, dogs, cats and many more! It can be a positive experience for the entire family.

All parents are programmed to answer, "No," when the inevitable question comes. Before you automatically turn the request down, think seriously about whether it might be a good idea, after all. You just might teach your child some life lessons!

[article from suburban scene, fall home & garden]
[Photo courtesy]