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Teaching Your Children Responsibility With A New Dog

It is nearly impossible to go into a pet store with dogs inside and not have your child ask you for one. The age of your child partly determines their maturity level, but even a more mature child is likely not ready for the responsibility of caring for a puppy. If your child does talk you into getting that cute little pooch (they often win) you will no doubt go over the rules with them as they nod their heads emphatically. They will say whatever it takes to have that cute puppy. It usually turns out that they will do good on the rules for a week or 2 and then begin to slip. Most of the time this means that the parent has to take full responsibility for the dog, but is doesn’t have too.

One way to make sure that your child fulfills their part of the bargain is to insure a stiff penalty for repeated failure. Forgetting to feed the dog or take it out potty once in a while is dismissible, but when it becomes a problem of negligence it needs to be addressed.

One rule that should ensure your child follows through with their responsibilities is to let them know that there are penalties for not complying with the care schedule you set up in the beginning. One way is to start with the normal disciplinary actions such as grounding, loss of privileges, etc. Ultimately, if they do not want to remain responsible for their part in caring for the dog then they should expect that you will find another home for the dog. That is a last resort, but should ensure that they will keep up with their responsibilities.

Kids can easily shirk their chores but if there are no consequences to their actions they will never learn. Getting a dog is a great way to teach them responsibility, but if you don’t make sure they fulfill their obligations, then they don’t really learn anything but to pass off responsibility to others which is not good.

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