There is nothing like the visualization of a family with children, and of course the good old reliable family pet. Pets provide a great value in a child’s life. When a child is taught to take care of a pet properly they actually learn some important life skills. First they learn the responsibility it takes to looking after their pet properly. Then they learn to be observant as their pet can’t tell them what is wrong so they need to rely on their observations. Then it teaches them some basics about love being a give and take part of life. It teaches them kindness.
Now these are all the things that owning a pet can teach a child, but unfortunately these are all attributes that must be learned and do not come naturally to the little pet owner with the exception of love perhaps.
We as parents have the responsibility to both pet and child to see that they build a good relationship between each other. If the youngster is taught the proper care and handling of their pet they will be rewarded with many years of companionship and love from their pet.
It all begins with teaching the child the can and cant’s with their pet. Kids tend to be a little rough with their pets simply because they want to play with them. They don’t realize that some of their rough actions can hurt their pet. Often when this happens the pet is then reluctant to form a bond with the child and the youngster doesn’t understand why. No matter what type of pet your child has teach them the safety play factors that their pet needs. A dog can be played with much differently than a hamster, for example. Make it a project for the child to learn what is safe and not safe when it comes to pet handling.
The next responsibility for the child pet owner is to meet the needs of their pet. This means a clean living environment, proper food and exercise. These are all responsibilities that the pet owner must meet in order to keep the pet happy and healthy. Kids then to forget about these needs but if you explain the importance of each of them and how uncomfortable it is for the pet when the youngster doesn’t look after it then this is often enough to keep the kids on track.
Train your child how to be observant on how their pet reacts. This way they will learn to know when something may not be right with their pet and they can bring it to your attention. As a parent you may be tuned into what is going on with the family dog, but not so intent on what is happening with the child’s hamster. Yet to your youngster that hamster is just as important as the family dog.