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Why do people do this to their kids?

I don't understand people who get a pet for their children and assume a kid should be responsible for care of a pet. HELLO! They are children! While I respect the necessity to teach children responsibility I do not think it fair to the child or the pet to make them responsible for an animal's wellbeing. This leads to abandoned or abused animals.I had two rabbits as a kid that I hated because the responsibility was pushed on me when I was only 5. They weren't cute and cuddly, they were vicious. So I had to clean up after an animal I couldn't even play with. One of the rabbits got loose from its hutch (someone let it out halloween night while we were trick/treating) and the other got depressed when the first was gone. Children should not be responsible for caring for the life of another creature. Teach them to be responsible for themselves first. When a child proves that, then get them a pet, but get one suited to their age.

Answer Question

Asked by BisketLiss at 1:09 PM on Oct. 15, 2010 in Pets

Level 18 (4,943 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I agree. We have a cat and a turtle that were mine before I ever got married or had children. My son wants to help but I would never expect him too. He also will not be getting a pet of his own unless he moves out. But he is 4 so I have a good long while ;-)

    Answer by mslksdh at 1:12 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I tend to agree with you. We have quite a few pets (2 large dogs and 7 cats), and while I do think it's important for children to interact with animals at a young age, I would never expect my son to take care of them. Well, he's only 2 now, but even later on. I think you can teach them responsibility by letting them feed the animals, teaching them to be gentle, stuff like that, but ultimately the care for my animals is still MY responsibility.

    Answer by Anouck at 1:16 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I got my son a dog, when he was 2 and a half, but it's his companion, my responsibility. I agreed to adopt the dog. I feed it, water it, walk it. when he's older, if the dog lives that long, and he wants to help take care of it, that will be his choice, not his responsibility. It's my pet, his pal..that's the way I see it.

    Comment by BisketLiss (original poster) at 1:16 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I think you are a little harsh because of your experience. I do believe that if you have a pet in your house it should not be the solely the kids that care of it, it should be a family thing. I think if you are not ready to bring a pet into the house then you should not get one. That is not to say that I don't think children should help when it comes to taking care of an animal. We had cats growing up and we helped take care of them. It was great and I loved being able to sit and cuddle with the cats.

    I think you need to find balance and do what is best for your family.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 1:16 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I agree, to an extent. At a certain age, a child is capable of feeding, walking, picking up it's poop, and playing with a dog (for example). I think that it's a good idea to wait to get a family pet (if it's the child's idea) until they can take care of it. The parents should always be willing to help because it takes getting used to, caring for a pet, but I see nothing wrong at a certain age, with a child being the main one responsible for their animal.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 1:18 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I agree. Having them take some responsibility for helping and treating them well is one thing.
    but to tell a little kid that they have to be completely responsible for another living thing is too much in my book.

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 1:27 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • I agree. Having some reponsibility is one thing... being completely responsible for another being is another. We have guinea pigs and the kids adore them, play with them, give them water and treats, but they are the family pets... at the end of the day, I make sure they are well cared for, because I brought them into the household and owe them good care, even if the kids end up getting bored or distracted.

    Answer by Freela at 4:37 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • 100% agree with you. I am sure my son will have animal-related chores, but it will never be his sole responsibility to care for an animal in our house. Animals belong to the family and should be cared for by everyone. At 21 months he already knows which cats like to be brushed, and they come running when I give him the brush :) Animals can teach valuable life lessons but they should not be a burden on children who are not capable of understanding how to care for them.

    Answer by getrealmama at 7:32 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • i dont understand why people expect children to be the responsible party. i am an animal lover and growing up we all helped out but my parents were the primary caretakers. when we chose our pets, we told the kids all that was involved. when they were babies, i did it all. this time with our new puppy, my kids are very helpful but i am still primary caretaker. I agree lots of pets are given up after the novelty has worn off. some kids are allowed to play too rough which leads to aggressive pets. so sad.

    Answer by stargazer74 at 9:02 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • So sorry you had that experience as a kid. A child should never be the only caregiver or even primary caregiver of a pet. The responsibility is always on the adult to make sure the animal is taken care of, fed, watered, cleaned, etc. My daughter has been raised with animals her entire life and got her "own" cat at 4 years old (mostly to keep her from dropping my show puppies, since the cat would land on its feet). Having a pet is a great way to teach responsibility, but the adult/parent has to be responsible enough also to see that the pet is being cared for (and enjoyed for that matter - you can't teach a child anything about responsibility if they don't even like the animal !!) The cat is 15 now and sound asleep on MY bed, since at age 19, my daughter doesn't want the cat hair on her bed, but she is still responsible for caring for him and if she comes in the room, I'm chopped liver compared to her, LOL !!

    Answer by JustMyOpinion22 at 5:37 AM on Oct. 17, 2010

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