Your child is asking you for a pet and you hesitate ...
here's how assess your child's motivations
and the benefits and constraintslinked to the presence of an animal in a family.
My child wants a pet:
Assess the child's motivation
Temporary lust or deep desirehaving a pet is sometimes difficult to assess with a child. Do not hesitate to question him about his expectations and desires.
- Has he been telling you about it for months with insistence?
- Will he watch videos on the Internet or watch animal reports on TV?
- Does he ask you to buy him books or magazines about the animal he wants?
- How does he react when he crosses paths with a dog or a cat in the street?
- Does he want to go to the zoo, to adoption shelters or to visit pet stores?
The benefits of animals for children
All child psychiatrists recognize the benefits that the animal brings to a child on its development psychological and psychomotor.
- An animal does not judge. He is a perfect confidantfor the child and an invaluable emotional presence (games, hugs, emotional outlet).
- The child learns to assert oneself and to himself empowerby participating in the education and welfare of the animal. His self-confidence is strengthened and facilitates learning such as reading and writing.
- The animal channels the children hyperactiveand reveal the children introverts.
- It's a natural way to experience the cycle of life(reproduction, birth, life, death, etc.).
- The child learns the respectand the citizenship by taking care of a living being.
ATread also:how to tell a child about the death of your animal.
- The animal unites the family by becoming a link and a mediator. It is the common project of the family. We walk the dog together… We choose the rabbit's food together, etc. A cohesion is organized around the animal.
Choose an animal suitable for the age of the child
- Before 5 years : the goldfish. It is easy to feed and interesting to watch.
- ATfrom 6 years old : the guinea pig. Sweet, affectionate and calm, he is perfect.
ATread also : the guinea pig: the pet of children.
- ATfrom 8 years old : the rabbit, the hamster, the rat, the mouse and the gerbil. Care should be taken in handling them, as these rodents are lively and bite if they feel threatened.
- After 12 years :The ferret and the chinchilla. Their needs are demanding and daily.
ATread also : welcoming a chinchilla: info and practical advice.
- At any age : the dog, the cat and the birds under the vigilant supervision of the parents.
The constraints related to the pet
- For some animals such as dogs, cats or chinchillas, it is a commitment toa long term.Parents are often left alone to manage the animal when the child goes to study, starts work or takes up housing.
- The animal at a significant cost (purchase, veterinary visit, monthly budget for food and accessories, care during the holidays, etc.)
- Each species has specific needs that should not be overlooked.You have to walk the dog, clean the rodent cages, change the cat litter, wash the goldfish aquarium, etc.
- Before any adoption, keep the animal of someone you knowto see how your child will behave around him. This will give you an idea of its future involvement.
- In case of purchase, teach your child common sense actions to adoptwith the chosen animal.
It's up to the parents to make the final decision when the child wants a pet, because they are the only ones responsible. But what emotions, joys and happiness shared with the family!
"The child who knows how to bend down to the suffering animal will one day reach out to his brother. "