By Jodie Lynn
I'd like to get my five-year-old a puppy for Christmas, but fear he may be too young. How can I decide? Or, what could be substituted for it?
ANSWER FROM READER:
Our seven-year-old daughter wanted a kitten last year; her father got one for her. It was a disaster! She played with it for around three to four weeks and then told us to take it back if she had to feed him and clean the litter box, which we talked with her about beforehand. If your son wants a pet, get something that doesn't require time, patience and training. - Sam P. in Park City, UT
It may depend on if your son is an older five-year-old (as in nearly six), whether or not he has had pets in the past and how his reaction to, patience with and responsibility for them was. These are all important factors you might want to consider in helping you to determine if he is truly ready for a puppy. However, just as important: are you ready? Puppies consume an enormous amount of time, training, feeding, entertaining, monitoring and unconditional love. Some like to roughhouse more than others as well as like to chew just about everything in sight. You can almost bet your last dollar that something that you or your son cares about will be chewed on or possibly ruined. Puppies can actually become quite costly with all of the shots, food, toys, a crate, etc. Children up to age eight or nine that are being taught how to take care of puppies, kittens or any kind of animal that is growing and requires upkeep still need to be supervised, especially since the needs of animals change fairly quickly while they go through various playful and inquisitive moods and rapid growth spurts. There's always the chance of them getting sick as well. It's pretty close to having another child. Since your son is only five, most of the responsibility will likely fall on your shoulders. If you have plenty of time to spare, and he has done well with caring for a pet previously, then go ahead with your decision. Don't forget that dogs that are already done with the puppy stage also make awesome family pets. Or, if you would rather wait until he gets a little older, perhaps he may be excited to have a couple of fish, lizards or whatever. That can help you teach him how to properly take care of another life before getting a puppy.
CAN YOU HELP?
My son just started eighth grade this year and lives with his mom and her new husband. He usually enjoys coming over and spending at least every other week with me. However, he is beginning to pull away from our time together just to spend time with his friends. I realize that they are getting more important by the day, but to be honest, it's pretty upsetting to me. How can I snap out of this pity party mood?
To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact @parenttoparent.com, or go to www.parenttoparent.com which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.
Join the Christian Mommies Forums to participate in our friendly online community, and have grown-up conversation with other Christian moms. As an alternative try our "Mom Site" Affiliate Moms of Faith's online community.
Christian Mommies Home Page - Site Map
Facebook Page - Pinterest - Twitter
Copyright © 2001-2017 Christian-Mommies.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.