As kids grow up, many develop a love for animals. Many desperately hope for a special pet of their own.
I’m a great example. We had all kinds of animals in our family growing up, and now I live on a ranch! We have 5 cats, 4 donkeys and 3 alpacas. But all these animals are my responsibility and taking care of them every day is a lot of hard work!
If your child is a miniature Doctor Doolittle, you may be considering getting them a pet of their own. But with pet ownership comes responsibility. Be sure your child is mature enough for the job, or you may be taking on the animal care duties.
If you’re not sure your child is ready for the responsibility of a pet, why not start smaller? Give them age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities that they are expected to complete on a regular basis. As they do so, make note of their progress and offer positive reinforcement.
For older kids, responsibilities could include cleaning, doing the dishes, or taking out the trash on a regular basis.
If you have a very young child, perhaps brushing and flossing each day (on his or her own) is a good place to start. When your child can take responsibility for their oral health, you know you’re on the right track. I’m not saying you should run out and get a St. Bernard next week, but you can have confidence that the lessons you are teaching your kids are sticking.
And maybe one day they will have earned the right to own a dog or cat.