Having Pets in your home can be fun for you and your kids. Pets are great companions for children, and they’re a means of teaching your children responsibility.
However, a significant challenge of having pets at home is the responsibility that comes with taking care of pets. As a parent, taking care of the family’s pets can become burdensome without any help.
How To Involve Your Children In Taking Responsibility With Your Pets
Involving your kids in caring for the pets will take the burden off your shoulders. It’ll teach your kids some valuable lessons in the long run. Here are some helpful tips on how to get started if you are confused about how to involve your children in taking responsibility for your pets.
1. Create a Pet-care Roster
Kids find it hard to concentrate on one thing for too long. So, if you want to teach them how to take responsibility for their pets, you’ll need to create a roster to achieve that successfully.
The roster will delegate tasks to the kids and make sure everyone is involved. It’ll also show the designated time for each person to care for the pets. Failure to perform the duty as designated periods should attract punishment such as grounding, reducing playtime, etc.
Creating a pet care roster helps in two significant ways. For one, it teaches your kids what it means to have a duty. They also learn that there are consequences for failing to perform such tasks.
Moreover, it teaches children accountability. They get to understand that everyone has a role to play in the family.
Besides, having a roster is necessary, especially if you have pets with health challenges or pets who need strict feeding and care routine. Such pets need constant monitoring and medications to help them feel better. Thankfully, Pet Honesty has a continuous supply of drugs and pet care packages that you can use.
2. Lead Your Children By Example
Another way to teach your kids to take responsibility for the pets is to lead by example. We know that children subconsciously copy and act based on how adults behave.
You must be conscious and deliberate about taking responsibility for your pets so that your children can observe and learn. Doing this will set an example for your children to emulate.
It’s also advisable that you regularly involve the kids whenever you are taking care of your pets. Make the process fun and simple. Before long, your kids will be happily taking care of the pets on their own.
3. Set a Pet Time
Pet time is the time set aside for children to play with pets. This period is used to build a relationship and establish a bond between your kids and pets. Familiarity will create the trust that’ll help your kids relate with and care for pets as friends.
Encouraging pet time will also help your kids to develop a genuine concern for the wellbeing of the pets. For instance, if your children regularly play with the pets, they’ll quickly notice when a pet is feeling unwell, being moody, or refuses to eat. It also helps them learn empathy- a life lesson they’ll need to draw from during their lives.
Asides that, it makes children look forward to taking care of their pets, thereby building a sense of responsibility towards them.
The pet time doesn’t have to take hours in a day. Dedicating a few minutes in a day consistently is enough to foster this relationship.
4. Create A To-Do List
For parents with a busy schedule, you can prepare a to-do list for your children to take responsibility for their pets.
A to-do list itemizes a series of activities necessary to get a task done systematically. Since you are dealing with children, you’ll need to make a list as simple as possible. Try using a step-by-step approach so they can easily follow the routine and not miss any step.
The list makes it easy for them to know how to care and be responsible for the pets even when you’re not around. Although it may take a while for them to get it, regular practice can make the process faster.
Once they master all the steps and can care for the pets by default, you can do away with the list. At this stage, you’ll have successfully inculcated in them a sense of responsibility to take care of their pets.
5. Tell Your Children Stories
History reminds us of the benefits of telling stories. Without stories, most of the knowledge today would have been lost forever.
Stories are a by-product of documented history that recounts the actions of persons or things, either imagined or real. Children are particularly fond of stories, and sometimes they picture themselves as characters in their favorite stories.
All you’ll have to do to leverage the power of stories is to tell stories about their favorite pets, detailing the importance of taking responsibility and caring for pets.
If the story is interesting enough, your children will never forget it. Therefore, stories can become a useful tool to teach your kids how to take care of their pets.
6. Reward Children For Taking Responsibility
Human beings, including children, are wired in a way that makes them expect rewards for their efforts. Rewarding your children for every job done can encourage them to take on more tasks and, eventually, take over the responsibility of caring for the pets.
Emphasizing on taking responsibility for the pets without incorporating rewards may backfire. This is because there is no motivation for the kids to give their best.
However, when you point out the advantages of taking responsibility and establish a reward system, you’ll be surprised how eager your children will be to complete their tasks. You can further encourage your children by organizing competitions among them so that they can win better rewards if they do better.
Asides the reward system, you should also learn how to appreciate your kids when to put in efforts. A simple thank you, well done, or even an encouraging smile can encourage them to do more.
How to involve your children in taking responsibility for your pets
Taking care of the pets in the home should be a general responsibility for all family members, including children. The earlier you start teaching your children about this, the better for them.
You can get your children involved in taking responsibility for their pets by creating a roster that delegates specific duties, leading by example, leveraging on a reward system, and creating a to-do list. It’ll also help if the children build a relationship with the pet. That way, they’ll learn how to care for the wellbeing of their pets genuinely.