Monday, May 28, 2012
GROWING UP WITH PETS
Do I believe growing up with pets is beneficial for kids? I certainly do. Dogs and cats are a great way to teach life-lessons of responsibility and compassion to the younger generation, teaching those lessons at an early age. Many children want to feel "grown up" and beg for the chance to have a pet promising to feed and care for them.
When getting a pet you should expand your horizons beyond cats and dogs. Above all, make sure the pet is age-appropriate. For younger children it might be a good choice to go with fish or hamsters which are easy to care for. Your child can assist with feeding. Remember, turtles and other reptiles carry salmonella so they are not appropriate for younger children.
If a child is younger than age 10, they will need assistance caring for a dog or cat. An older child will be able to take on the necessary responsibilities with your supervision. No matter what type of pet you choose, children should be taught to 'wash up' after handling the pet, its food or belongings.
I view having a family pet as a means to teach lessons concerning the cycle of life from procreation and birth to sickness, death and bereavement, a pet may very well be the first way a child experiences such life passages.
A family pet can bring the family members closer together through shared experiences and happy memories.