If you have a kid and you want to instill positive qualities in the kid, you may want to consider keeping a family pet. Most children are attracted by animals- it is common to see young children tugging at their parents’ and begging to take a particular pet home.
Pets have a very theraupetic effect on the family. I find that especially so with dogs that is very intelligent, adorable, warm and intensely loyal. Should you decide to buy a pet for your kid, you need to have your kid understand that he/she will have the responsibility of taking care of the pet. It is not only when playing with pet, an animal had to be bathed, fed and have its poo poo cleaned. The bigger the animal, the more responsibilites are involved.
Being a child, I had always loved and adored animals. We grew up with pets- and I cannot remember any period in my life where we do not have dogs. Sometimes, we had cats- but we had a neighbour a few house away who loved cats and always tempted our cats away with delicious food. In the end, we stopped keeping cats.
Having pets made a child learn to take responsibility and to take care of a life from young. These values can be instilled as the child learn to wash, bathe and feed the animal- the child will learn that it is not about just playing with the animal but one also need to take care of it, because like us, animals also have these basic needs. No doubt, a child may not do a perfect job of cleaning or feeding, but it is sufficient for the child to get the ‘hang of it’. I noticed that children tend to be more caring, compassionate and responsible if they are directly involved with taking care of animals from young.
As for my neigbour, the lady forbade the family from rearing any pets. Once, when a female dog that we were having bore a litter of cute puppies, her son (who was very young that time) begged his mom to get him one.
She refused because she tends to regard pets as pests- a real nuisance to clean them. As the result, I watched the manner which her son grew up- he just doesn’t seems to have that caring quality. I cannot help but feel that he would have turned out differently had he been given a responsibility of caring for a defenceless animal.
My friend learned to nurture the quality in her son – but at the same time, she is quite particular about cleanliness. So rearing dogs for her is out of the question.
She decided to keep hamsters instead. She has only one son and sometimes, the boy used to get very lonely without any sibling to play with him. After having the hamsters, the boy becomes occupied and learn to take care of the animals. She even made it a family activity to clean the cage, bathe the hamsters and feed them.
Of course, we need to be well aware that kids tend to have short attention span- they can be begging you for days to have a pet, only to lose interest not long later after acquiring the pet.
And you may find yourself being stuck with the responsibilities of cooking, bathing and cleaning up after the animal. Still, nothing cheers a kid more than coming back from school and being greated by a wagging tail of a doggie.
The sad thing is that most of us are so busy and wants things that are convenient and a quick kills. However, we need to consider that the rewards are great- if we can instill values in our child from young. If we look at kids that are brought up by busy parents- the gratitude and caring aspects seemed to be sadly missing.