Teaching responsibility to children can happen at any age. A toddler can learn basic responsibility just as easily as a teenager, so it is important that you as a parent look for some ways that you can encourage a responsible mindset from an early age. Looking after a pet can be a great way to do so! Here are three pets you should consider getting for your little ones to learn more responsibility.
A cat is a fantastic option for families. They are generally thought of as being low-maintenance, though they will need some extra care and attention if they are indoor cats as they will require stimulation. Cats are good for teaching children boundaries and respect. Even the most docile of cats can be pushed to giving a clawless swat if irritated. While you should never encourage your children to be scratched by a cat, they will quickly learn to respect a cat’s space with the proper guidance.
Responsibility can also be taught through certain aspects of caring for a cat, such as feeding. While you might take care of the adult stuff, such as having the right pet insurance to care for the cat if it gets ill, they can take care of the smaller things, like ensuring that it is fed on time.
Of course, dogs are considered to be one of the best pets for families by far. Your children might be a little young to walk the dog on their own, especially if the dog pulls on the lead or has bad recall, but they can still look after the pooch in other ways. For example, as with cats, young children can be responsible for ensuring that the dog is fed.
As a parent, you need to do your research to find a dog breed that is good with children, or to properly vet the animal if you will be adopting a mutt from a shelter. You also need to make sure that the dog is properly trained so you can safely leave your children with it.
A slightly more unusual but nevertheless affectionate pet will be a parakeet. Not everyone likes the idea of handling a bird, but they can make for great pets and children as young as four can begin to learn how to take care of them. You need to make sure that you work with your child to ensure that they handle the pet carefully and responsibly.
While you might want to take care of making sure that the cage is clean, your children could again help with feeding the parakeet and giving it treats like snacks and vegetables. Parakeets are very sociable birds, so you can let your child build a relationship with it when they are younger. As they get older, you can work towards teaching your child how to clean the cage and care for other aspects of the bird’s life.
Find the Right Pet for You
These are three types of pet that can be a wonderful addition to a household with small children. In addition to providing companionship for your child, they are also great for teaching responsibility. If you wish to encourage your child to take on small tasks and other activities that will teach them skills and lifelong habits, a pet might be the way to do it.
It might be worth taking your children’s preferences into consideration when choosing a pet. This could help them bond with the animal faster, meaning that it might not be too long before you have a child who wants to help out with caring for the pet.