If children claim a family pet for their own should they be responsible for its daily care?
Everyday I am told that the family cat is "mine" by one of the children I care for. So as she is a very grown up eight years old what do you think, should she be responsible for the daily care, i.e. cleaning her litter tray, grooming and feeding?
Yes, I think she should. Eight is old enough to take on the sort of responsibilities involved in looking after a pet. Under a certain amount of supervision, of course, as you can't let the pet suffer. Always check that it is fed and has fresh water and that the litter tray has been cleaned if the cat is kept in at night. Don't make it too obvious that you are checking these things, you can always make it look as if you are taking an interest in the child and are proud that she has taken on the responsibility.
I think that learning how to care for another living being is a wonderful life lesson, and one that will stand any child in good stead later in life.
Well said G59. I do believe that caring for others (human or not) is a great lesson and that it teaches that caring isn't just petting. You mention though that this is a child you care for, I'm assuming not yours, thus I would be careful to discuss this with the child's parents what you are considering. Particularly the litter tray. I'd hate to see any issue arise wtih that aspect of the question. I coach youth sports and have found that though what I'm trying to teach is good, fair and necessary...some parents these days just don't feel the same and will crucify anyone who tries to teach their child a lesson.
Absolutely, the child be delegated that responsibility of caring for that cat, since it belongs to him/her. I remember when I was about seven years old, my dad gave me a pot belly pig and I had to take care of it. I didn't even know that he was teaching me to be responsible at an early age -- He told me this a few years later!
Certainly, it makes sense and also teaches the children responsability. I think it is very important. And after all if they were the ones that asked for the pet, they must realise it's not all fun and games.
Children with pets that are "theirs" should definitely be in charge of certain elements of upkeep and care, at least. Depending on the child's level of responsibility and willingness, the duties might vary. However, I'm a little unclear whether you meant that this is your cat or the girl's family's cat. It might not hurt to ask her parents whether they mind if you give her some cat chores.
Without a doubt! This can be a shared claim with brothers and sisters and all involved should take the iniative to establish a to-do list, which can even change weekly. It is the best way, I feel, for a child to learn that rare thing called "responsibility," which seems to have lost its way in this day and age.
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