How To Know If Your Kids Are Ready For A Pet
My family is like any other blended family, the kids can be best friends one minute and then fighting like cats and dogs the next. But there was one thing they were happy to work together for and that was getting a dog. I was dead against having a pet as I was sure that once the novelty wore off, I would be the one left to take care of it. Thankfully that has not actually been the case and everyone has pitched in. But if your kids are always nagging you for a pet, here are some ways you can tell if they are ready for the responsibility.
Your Kids Love Animals
This is the first and most obvious ones, but I say this because when I was a kid I was desperate for a rabbit called Peter. My dad gave in and surprised me with one… turns out I liked the idea of having a rabbit much more than actually having one as I was terrified of him. If your kids are animal lovers and actually comfortable around animals this is a good sign that they are ready for their own pet.
Your Kids Are Responsible
Now some of you may be laughing at putting your kids and responsibility together in the same sentence, But my eldest actually used this as part of their ganging up on me and my partner as to why they should be allowed a pet. They all did their chores and they did them properly and really without being nagged to do so. So they said they would make sure they all looked after the dog properly. We could not really argue with this as they were for the most part responsible kids. So if your kids handle their chores and are responsible then maybe they are ready. Or if they are not and getting them to do their chores is like a battle, let them know that any discussions about having a pet are out of the question until they start acting more responsible.
Your Kids Stick At Things
This was one of the stumbling blocks for me in regards to getting a family dog. Our daughter has a closet that contains things like roller blades, a baton, skipping ropes and a whole lot of other stuff that was going to be the greatest thing ever and it was also going to be her thing she did forever! She would never stick at anything for more than a few weeks and we were worried that a dog would be the same thing. We were able to talk to her about how having a pet is not something that you can just lose interest in or quit and she understood. If your kids are great at sticking with things, then they will hopefully be able to stick to looking after a dog and not just leave you holding the bag full of dog poop!
The Pet They Want Fits Into Your Family
For us it was a dog, the kids were desperate for a dog. Now we had the space and also some family close by who could look after it if we went out of town. So for us, a dog was a good fit, but for some families where space might be tight, a dog might not be the best idea. If your kids are making arguments about how the pet they want is a great fit for the family. Then this is a sign that they have thought it through so they are showing a lot of maturity here so maybe you should give them a shot.
As a blended family that has three kids and added a dog into the mix, I can tell you that it is not easy adding a pet. But as long as you can get everyone to help out with walking, cleaning and so on. Adding a pet to the family can be a whole lot of fun.