As the kids start to get older and go off to school, you can feel that your influence as a parent has dramatically diminished. Now there is a full-time teacher involved, deciding what is right for your children, and disciplining them if they do wrong. Even more worrying for a parent is the influence of other kids. Their backgrounds may be different from yours, and you may worry their behavior may not be up to the standards you expect from your own children. Still, off to school they must go, and when they come home in the evenings you must deal with them in your own unique way.
Children find out the world is a much bigger place when they go to school and realise that their friends have things that you may have said no to. This can open up a dialogue of begging for things like the latest sneakers or and expensive toy. Sometimes your own kids will come home asking for things you weren’t expecting. If your son’s best friend has a dog, now may be the time that your son suddenly becomes very interested in looking after his own pet.
Getting a puppy can be a huge upheaval but it can also be a very beneficial thing to do for school-age kids. It teaches them responsibility and to value another being’s feelings. It will also help them educationally, as they may be interested in doing some research of their own into how to look after the puppy. Most importantly, it is a great way to encourage your kids to get out into the open. Your children will learn about hygiene, and they can learn a lot about road safety when they are trying to keep someone else safe on the sidewalk too.
Of course, every puppy will come with a lot of extra work for you to do. They may have behavioural problems like chewing and barking. If you are looking for help on how to handle a chewing puppy you can find lots of great advice online, or try taking some puppy training classes. At school age, your children are old enough to measure out puppy food and put it down for your newest family member. They can also read the time well enough to know when it is time for walkies. There are lots of great skills that can be learned at this age, and pet care is an important one.
Whatever your thoughts on pet ownership, and whatever concerns you have for your furniture, having a family pet can be enormously beneficial for children. It provides them with companionship and a playmate for a rainy day. There are also plenty of opportunities to make new friends in the dog park. While you may have to take on some additional responsibilities and chores yourself, you may be pleased to see how your children grow. They will develop maturity through their own interactions with your new pet. Even if you can’t own your own dog, see if you can allow your son to walk a neighbour’s dog with you sometimes.