"Can I have a pet, Mom?" If you don't have one already, it may be simple to forget the idea and be curbed by the thought of having more liability to look after.
But before you totally throw the idea out the window, take some time to consider these advantages of adding a pet to your family.
Teaches them responsibility Probably one of the best reasons to get a pet is that aside from the fact that they learn to care for another living thing, they learn a very important aspect of life, to be responsible and accountable for something. It's important to explain to them, especially if they asked for the pet, that animals rely on humans for their basic needs, therefore it's up to us to provide and care for them. At the beginning it's a great idea to assign them tasks for the pet like preparing food or replacing their water. Along the way they'll develop their own instincts and provide whatever the pet needs on their own.
Shows them the value of living beings
Having a pet in the home reminds the family and teaches kids that pets, just like people, have feelings and specific needs. A lot of people or families go out and get pets, sometimes it's only a momentary whim and in the long run they end up not providing or even not caring for their pets at all. It's important to teach your kids that having a pet isn't something to be taken lightly and that they must be involved in the welfare of the animal. Kids must learn to treat with respect any living and breathing thing, especially one that's a new member of the family.
Boosts their self-esteem
By having responsibility or a role to accomplish in the family, the child feels a sense of purpose. When the family or the pet is reliant on them they feel needed and valued. Just like how adults feel great after a raise or a closed deal, kids get a huge confidence boost and generally feel great about themselves for accomplishing certain tasks like taking the dog for a walk or brushing the pet cat. Accomplishment, particularly one that is well done can increase their self-esteem.
Encourages commitment Another important lesson your kids will learn is to commit to a task, in this case, caring for a pet. Sometimes kids begin something but have trouble following through. Having a pet can change all that especially if you guide them and remind them that pets needs regular provision of their basic necessities and must be given constant attention. Moreover, as important as it is to develop responsibility is to commit to that responsibility.