It is a normal request from your children as they grow to want to have pets. If you are ready, then accept to get one. However, if you are not, it shall be tricky turning them down. How best you explain your decision should settle the matter for now, and also help you prepare for a pet as time goes by.
Your negative answer must be accompanied by a reasonable explanation
A simple response of no to their query will be met with protests, making all of you frustrated as they shall keep pestering you. A good reason should quell the situation. If there is a planned family activity such as a holiday coming up, kids will see the sense of postponing getting a pet. There is a chance they may not let the matter rest but come up with more reasons. They are getting skilled in getting you to agree with their viewpoint. You better be ready.
Present in great detail, the activities one undertakes in pet care.
There are children who believe caring for a pet is no different from caring for their stuffed animals. It may turn out to be the fastest way to get them to give up, when you show them how hard it can be. Write down all the activities involved in taking care of one, have them go through it and confirm whether they can perform all the activities, such as collecting pet poop or treating them for fleas, which is normally an unpleasant experience. At this point, they should have made up their minds to postpone getting one.
Tell older kids your true reason
Older kids are best placed to understand why you can’t have a pet at the moment. It may be that you cannot afford one for now, or they may not be around much longer to take care of them as they are heading out to college in a few months, and you are already too busy to assume their responsibilities.
Suggest engaging them in something else
Fill up the spare time the pet was to take with another interesting activity. To help them become better pet owners as time goes, suggest activities like taking care of the neighbors’ pets, or taking shifts volunteering at the animal shelter or working at a pet shop. They could also walk the dogs of your busy neighbors and get paid for it. They could start saving up for their pets while they are gaining the necessary experience in taking care of a pet.
It is advisable to do some research of your own on the intricacies of pet ownership prior to making your decision. It may turn out to be a great addition to your home. Your kids deserve understanding and a good explanation, whether or not they are getting a pet.