What to do if the child really wants a dog, but the parents are against?
Probably every parent went through a stage when a child insistently asks for a dog or cat. Sometimes objective reasons prevent this: someone has an allergy or the apartment is too small. Maria Lezhneva, Director of the Animal Welfare Association, tells where you can communicate with animals and help them if you are not ready to keep them at home.
Question. The child is asking for a dog, but we live in a small apartment, and my husband is generally allergic, so we just can’t get one. What can a son do for other animals so that he is not so sad??
Answer. The animal is responsibility. When it lives with a child in the same house, he learns to care for him and love him, no matter what. Living with a dog, cat or hamster is not only about sunny walks and playing with a ball, but about cleaning up poop, cleaning ears, going to the clinic, raising, leaving the house in the rain, snow and slush and other unpleasant things that a child must do and still love his friend.
If you cannot keep animals at home, but want to communicate with them, you can become volunteers in one of the Moscow or Moscow region shelters, walk with the animals, and socialize them. It will also be a wonderful family leisure for you. in nature and with a lot of positive emotions. And then you can find a beautiful home for a dog or cat already raised by you, in which it will live a happy life.
That said, you need to understand that many shelters can seem intimidating even to an adult. Not so much because of the poor management of animals, but because it is difficult to see 500-2000 animals in one place. This is usually found in municipal shelters, so for traveling with children, I advise you to choose smaller and private shelters. for example, Lesnoy, Bubasti, Nika, Dubovaya Roshcha, Yuna, Zoorasvet.
Another option for help is to organize a campaign at the school to collect food or medicine for one of the shelters. Each of them has its own needs, so I advise you to clarify what exactly needs to be collected now. Usually these are medicinal food, canned food, special medicines for animals with disabilities, old people and just sick. But shelters also often require just blankets, mattresses, blankets. what can be used to insulate aviaries in winter.
10 amazing animal facts that kids will love
Another child can help remotely, for example, maintaining social networks of a shelter or foundation, designing printed materials, posting ads. You need to take on such help, having calculated your strength: the fund employee who will bring your child up to date will spend his time and energy on it. In addition, it is very offensive when someone begins to help an animal, but does not complete the matter, a dog or cat is left without a curator.
Finally, you can gently feed the animals that live in your area. You can bring food to stray cats or dogs, but don’t forget the rules of etiquette and safety. When I talk about etiquette, I mean that the public space should be clean, so if you decide to feed someone, then remove the saucer or plate so that the neighbors do not resent.
The following should be remembered about safety: stray animals are often afraid of humans, which means that they can be aggressive out of fear, so you need to be careful and respectful of them. If you see a puppy, see if the parent is nearby: he may be afraid for him and attack you. And most importantly, communication and feeding are extremely undesirable without the presence of adults.
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What to do if a child wants a dog, how to refuse correctly?
Indeed, at some age, many of the children suddenly light up with the desire to have a four-legged friend. often children want to have a puppy, sometimes a kitten.
You, as an adult, perfectly understand that a child will play and forget, and you will be responsible for a living being. But I don’t want to upset the child, how can I be?
Read an article where psychologically it is very true about how to say “no” to your child without causing him mental trauma.
From a conversation overheard in an elementary school lobby:
You listen and involuntarily imagine the Kid, the hero of the famous fairy tale by Astrid Lindgren, who on his birthday raised his eyes full of tears at his parents: “Will there be no dog?”
A conscious and acute desire to have a pet usually comes to children at the age of 6-7 years. And this is the age when they can no longer only play with animals, but also partially take responsibility for caring for them: it is quite possible to entrust seven-year-olds to feed the pet, clean the cage, and comb the fur. But a childish desire to become the owner of an adorable puppy or fluffy kitten is not enough.
Parents can be against pets in the house for various reasons: a family member is allergic to wool, there is not enough room in the apartment for a large dog, or you are simply not ready to take responsibility for a four-legged creature. And you have that right. Only this does not cancel the feeling of guilt due to a child’s resentment: it seems to parents that in the eyes of the child they look like destroyers of dreams, because it is so simple in words. to take a kitten or a puppy and make children happy.
Only in this difficult situation is not even a childish resentment primary. A very important factor is the condition of the animal, which will have to live in the family for many years and, possibly, not receive additional care and personal time from the owners who were not ready for its appearance. Fascinated by the idea of having a little friend, the child promises to take on all the difficulties of caring for a pet.
But first of all, he imagines a game with a pet, their common, funny moments. Therefore, whoever the desired puppy or cat is officially bought, the parents understand that they will have an additional responsibility: to constantly monitor how the child takes care of the pet and take most of this care on themselves.
How to honestly explain to your child why you say no:
- You are short on time. Remember with the children the schedule of the whole family: what time do you leave the house, how long do the after-school classes and clubs last for children, at what hour everyone gathers at home. Think about whether it would be fair with such a busy family schedule to leave the animal alone for the whole day without the opportunity to play and walk. Tell your child that toilet training and education is also important in the early months. If this moment is left to chance, the animal may then show not its best qualities: show aggression towards family members, spoil furniture or shoes, etc.
- You have little space. Often a child forgets that a tiny funny puppy grows into a large dog in a few months, which needs space to develop, train, and move. It is very difficult to do in a city apartment.
- The child has plans for the future. If a conversation occurs with a teenager, remind that in 3-4 years he may want to enter a university in another city or even in another country and will not be able to take a pet that gets used to him with him.
- A large dog can be too much for a child. If a child dreams of a specific, large breed of dog and imagines how proudly he will walk in the yard, tell me that at 6-7 years old it may still be difficult for him to physically hold an adult dog if it sees something interesting on the street and pulls the owner into side. Having broken off the leash, the dog can start a fight with another animal on the site, frighten a person or get lost. This risk also needs to be considered.
If the parents give good enough reasons why at the moment the appearance of the animal in the house is impossible, most likely, the child will agree that it is possible to postpone the acquisition of a pet for some time. Set a time limit during which you can return to the conversation and see if your opinion has changed and if the child has become stronger in his desire.
As you mentally prepare for the future, study together the information about the pet the child is asking for and discuss how you will need to take care of it. Go through all the points without embellishing the reality: is the child ready at first to wipe the puddles behind the puppy, can he wake up half an hour earlier than the usual time to take the dog out for a walk, who of his relatives can be asked to stay with the pet when the family is going on vacation.
When purchasing a kitten or puppy for a child, adults should understand that they are introducing a new family member into the house, who cannot but be considered their pet too. Not only because his parents still have to take care of him, but also because the four-legged creature is still another love in your life. That is why every family member should agree with the idea of a dog or cat in the house, and if at least one person has doubts or direct resistance, it is better to abandon this idea.
Firstly, the pet itself can feel a negative attitude towards itself, and secondly, the appearance of an irritant as a whole affects the relationship between household members. With all due respect to animals and understanding that our smaller brothers teach children friendship, love and responsibility, you still have the right to say “no”.
If, in general, you do not give up the idea of having a pet, but you understand that the children are still small and the right moment has not come, try to agree with them about postponing the event for a while. So that the children get used to the school routine, learn how to perform their duties around the house and be sure that they can find enough time for their pet. Then the appearance of a furry friend in the family can be considered a balanced decision from all sides.