The ceaseless whining to have pets at home never stops. And it gets harder and harder every time to refuse them. Children never back down. They will keep coming up with new ways to try and convince you of it. Now, I understand your trepidation, but it is not necessarily the worst idea your child had. Just hear them out, that is, hear me out (okay fine, read what I want to say).
Before you give them the default response ‘no,’ consider the below points (and then say yes).
1. You will always have a friend.
I speak on behalf of the ‘pets at home community’ when I say you will never be alone. Your pet, no matter what it is, will always be on your side. They will never question you, or judge you, or try to give you their opinion. They will love you, no matter what.
When children have someone who supports them unconditionally, they have high self-esteem. Children have the pressure of making friends. But, when you have your best friend in your pet, you have nothing to worry about.
Sometimes, you just want to be heard and trust me, our pets are the best listeners. They will patiently listen to you. You can always depend on them, and they will always have time for your children.
Your children will always have them for company. There is no one like them to have as your partner-in-crime.
2. Bye-bye Stress
Imagine this. You have worked hard at your office. And, what’s more? You meet heavy traffic. You are done for the day, and you reach home. The moment you open the door, you see it.
Your pets have been waiting for you at home all day to come home, and now they are ecstatic that you are finally home.
Five minutes of playing with them, and you forget everything that has tired you out. That is the magic they have.
The same happens to your children too. They form a special bond. A few moments with their beloved pet and all their tensions from school are gone. Just watching them is enough to get you going.
I kid you not when I say it, but whenever I am tired of the world and ready to stop caring about anything, I watch my dog.
It doesn’t matter what she is doing. Sleeping or playing with her own tail, my spirits instantly rise, and the world becomes a better place to live in altogether. Their innocence is enough to lure you back into the world with a fresh perspective.
3. “I will take care. I promise.”
Your children will make all sorts of schemes to get what they want. And, “I will do everything. You won’t have to worry,” is one of the most used ones.
We want to teach our children responsibility. And when they are willing to take some, we should encourage it. And taking care of a living being imbibes just that. Now, your concerns here are valid too.
You think (you know) that your children are going to do it for a couple of days, and then you will end up taking care of it. Well, there is a way you can test it.
When your kids are asking for a pet, you can give them a trial round. They can practice on a dummy pet for a month, and if they succeed, they can get a real one.
For example, if your children want a cat, then they can take care of a toy cat. Where they will have to feed, train, and clean after it. Keep spilling water occasionally around the house, which will happen with a new pet, and change a box of mud periodically.
See if they remember to feed it three times a day. Discuss it with your child about this test. If they pass the test, then you have to be true to your word. And if they don’t, you can encourage them to become more responsible so that they can consider it after a while. It will also tell them if they are ready.
Your children will take it more positively than you saying ‘no.’ At least they know they had a fair shot here.
Or the better way is if it is acceptable to you as well your child, you should get a pet, maybe from a friend for trial for a week/fortnight. You will get to know exactly if they can really take care of this pet for its life.
4. More considerate about others.
My friend’s dog is terrified of thunder and fire-crackers, basically loud noises. So, during heavy rains and festivals, they keep him inside the house, in a blanket. And, someone sits with him at all times, to let him know that everything is okay. It makes it easy for him to remain calm.
The moral of the story is, we learn to think about people who are not ‘we.’ We make accommodations for someone we care.
When you have to look after a being that cannot speak your language, you learn to listen to the unspoken things. Pet lovers always have to interpret what their companion is saying, without the companion uttering a word.
Animals don’t do anything without reason( most of the time). And, it may not be apparent to us instantly. We have to look for it. We make an effort to understand them and try to make the situation comfortable for them.
It starts with our pets at home, and then we go on and start thinking about humans too. Your children will learn to think about their actions and how they affect others around them.
5. Respect nature
Some things come naturally to pet lovers, or we can say, animal lovers. Guess what? Loving nature. When you like a species other than yours, you are more considerate of your fellow beings.
The world that we live in is home to many, and not just us. It is for everyone to share. We are a part of something way bigger than ourselves, and we need to appreciate it.
Supporting our fellow beings is our responsibility that many fail to acknowledge. Respecting nature is a lesson we all learn, but forget to apply.
When your child wants a pet, you have a chance to give them a practical on this theory session. And when they show a willingness to have an animal in their life, you should encourage it. So, the bottom line is, just do it.
Everybody has their own reasons for not doing something. I get that. But, if your children are fond of something, they need to have a fighting chance to get it.
Be it a pet or anything else. As parents, we have to help them shape their personality. And not cut out pieces of it that we do not have ourselves. They have to be their own person, and if they are a pet lover, so be it.