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Old 07-21-2006, 10:57 PM   #1
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Should kids not have pets until thier teens?

I post this because I just found out today that my cat only has a few days left to live. Wouldn't it be better to get really young pets when your kids are in thier teens so that they don't have to deal with having thier pets put under, at such a young age? I think putting an animal down is the worst kind of death a child can witness. Do we really want our children thinking about dying of old age?
On the day the Chicago DVD came out, my dog of ten plus years had to be put down. I remember watching Running To Stand Still when I told. If I were a little kid I know that I would be scarred for life.
Am I totally out of line here or is my attitude justified?
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:05 AM   #2
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Animals have a tendency of dying, I don't see how it should detract from how much they enrich a childs life.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:05 AM   #3
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Children can't fully understand death until age twelve (if I'm remembering correctly). Having childhood pets teaches kids responsibility and compassion. If a child has a pet, it's not like parents are constantly saying "oh, someday he's going to die and you'll be so sad!" That IS disturbing, but having pets is not.

Do you know of any research dealing in this concept?
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:15 AM   #4
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I agree with LivLuv, pets are a good way to teach responsibility to children, and the pet's death is also another way to teach a child about life.

You can't sheild your child from dealing with death, my first experience with death was 10 years old. My grandfather died while I was at summer camp, they picked me up early. As soon as I saw my dad, I knew what had happened and just went running to his arms. It hit me hard, didn't speak for almost 2 weeks. But it didn't scar me. And I've had to deal with it many times since then, unfortunately I've been to too many funerals for someone my age...
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:35 AM   #5
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I think that you have to weigh the potential pleasure that a pet would give a family against the pain that will be caused by their demise. I suspect that for most, the pleasure would outweight the pain. Kids are more resillient than we often give them credit for. I wouldn't worry too much about it. They'll mourn, they'll feel like shit for a while, but eventually the pain will ease, and they'll have great memories.

On a personal note, our black lab had to be put down in May. It was devestating for my daughter (and myself, too), we'd had her since my daughter was four - but in the end, my daughter decided she wanted to be with her while it was being done. She stood by her side petting her as she passed away. My daughter said later that despite her grief, she didn't want Kelly to be scared and alone as she died, she wanted to comfort her in her final seconds. I've never been more proud of her in my entire life.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
I've never been more proud of her in my entire life.
Sounds like you have a great daughter.
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Old 07-22-2006, 02:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Sounds like you have a great daughter.
Thanks I really do; I'm very fortunate.
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Old 07-22-2006, 03:51 AM   #8
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I'm sorry about your cat
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
I think that you have to weigh the potential pleasure that a pet would give a family against the pain that will be caused by their demise. I suspect that for most, the pleasure would outweight the pain. Kids are more resillient than we often give them credit for. I wouldn't worry too much about it. They'll mourn, they'll feel like shit for a while, but eventually the pain will ease, and they'll have great memories.
I agree - you are very wise VP

Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
On a personal note, our black lab had to be put down in May. It was devestating for my daughter (and myself, too), we'd had her since my daughter was four - but in the end, my daughter decided she wanted to be with her while it was being done. She stood by her side petting her as she passed away. My daughter said later that despite her grief, she didn't want Kelly to be scared and alone as she died, she wanted to comfort her in her final seconds. I've never been more proud of her in my entire life.
that brought tears to my eyes. So sorry about Kelly And a hug from one Mom to another

Sorry to hear about your cat Screwtape2
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:05 AM   #10
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I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I do know my experience as a child has led me to never want to have a pet ever again - though my girlfriend loves cats, so maybe I'll have to reconsider. I hope not anyway. I dearly love cats, but I still feel incredibly sad when I think of the death of the one I had when I was a child, Shogun. I had a much longer post written, but it upsets me too much to write about Shogun, I couldn't finish writing it. I was only 10 and I thought I had killed my cat. No matter what my mother told me, I didn't believe her; I now realise I did nothing to quicken his death of cancer, but the night he died, I asked to have him taken from my room to my mother's because he was pacing around on my bed and I couldn't sleep, and I thought he died because I rejected him.

I guess, if any future children of mine want a pet, I'll try to get one when they're old enough so that it will likely be alive when they reach their teens, and when it dies, they will hopefully not suffer the mistaken feelings of guilt I did. If I'd been 15 when Shogun died, I would've surely realised I didn't cause or quicken his death.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
I was only 10 and I thought I had killed my cat. No matter what my mother told me, I didn't believe her; I now realise I did nothing to quicken his death of cancer, but the night he died, I asked to have him taken from my room to my mother's because he was pacing around on my bed and I couldn't sleep, and I thought he died because I rejected him.
That's so sad that you thought that. I agree that kids shouldn't be shielded from death, but parents should deal with it in an honest way that is still age appropriate and sensitive to the qualities of each child. Pets can teach kids so many good things about love and responsibility. I am far from being a kid and I still can't deal with my pets' deaths in any way that doesn't involve denial and sadness, but I would never want to trade or lose what they have given me.

Each child is different and parents know their child best, so I think they can make that decision regarding when to get a pet on an individual basis.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:30 AM   #12
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I'm so sorry about your cat.It's true pets can teach you about life and death.I raised my collie as a pup and watched her die of old age(13yrs). It was hard, even now thinking about it,but I am glad I was there to see her pass on.My mother and I buried Bonnie between to trees.That beautiful dog was like a child to me.(she was my baby)I'm sorry,I guess what I am trying to say is your daughter will learn to beauty of life and death.It hurts but the happy memories live on. Take care
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:50 PM   #13
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In general don't have a problem with children having pets - though I think too many parents don't think ahead when they agree to allowing a child to have a pet. They think it is a good way to teach responsibility, but when the newness wears off and the 'cute' puppy or kitten grows up into a 'boring' old dog or cat, the pet is the one who suffers. Too many sad stories of dogs frying or freezing to death chained up in their backyards - why do people bother to have dogs if they are just going to leave them chained up outside for the majority of their life? Too many people wanting the 'easy way out' when they don't keep the cat's litterboxes clean and they start going to the bathroom around the house. Or not not planning ahead that at some point the pet will need medical care, and saying well it's all just too expensive, we'll just put it to sleep. Ultimately the adult is the one who has to be responsible, and there are a lot of irresponsible adults out there.

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Old 07-22-2006, 03:22 PM   #14
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Sorry about your cat.
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:48 PM   #15
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I honestly don't think any age is a good age to loose a pet. I was a teenager when our dog Max had to be put to sleep. I honestly thought I was going to die too. After getting another dog and having him for only 7 years he had to be put to sleep because he had lung cancer I was 30 married and had a baby and cried for weeks. Every time I think of it I still feel sad...Now my kids have a 4 months old puppy, hopefully if he has a healthy life my kids will be 17 and 20, but if they are anything like me they'll need therapy too!!!
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