Often parents mention “Learning Responsibility” as a top reason for owning a pet. I think this is a terrible reason for owning a pet. However, learning responsibility is generally a side effect that cannot be avoided.
Here are some things that you could expect, or at least encourage your kids to learn as they take care of pets (some of them may apply to plant care, too, if you have no pets)
- Others depend on you. Whether it is for food, bathroom, or walks, pets (and eventually coworkers and bosses) depend on you to do your job.
- Being Consistent. You can’t skip, you have to do it every day.
- How to motivate. Using positive rewards works on people, too, not just animals.
- How to lead. Teaching a pet tricks, how to obey, how to trust; all of these things are great practice for dealing with real people in a real workplace.
- How to love. It sounds like a crazy skill to bring to the workplace, but loving others is the best way to work peacefully towards a common goal.
It may seem like forever before your kids learn the responsibility of taking care of a pet, but these are lessons that will stay with them for a life time.
What have you learned from having a pet?