It is no secret that one of the best ways to teach children about being reliable is to have them raise a pet. With pet ownership it is necessary that the caretaker be responsible and trustworthy, since the pet relies upon the owner.
Reptiles and amphibians are a wonderful, and oft times overlooked, option for a child’s pet. A turtle makes a great first pet for your home or apartment.
– There are over two hundred different species of turtles.
– They are small and take up little space, as long as you don’t get one of the seven foot long, one thousand pound varieties.
– Their food habits include fresh greens and plants, small creatures, and insects.
– Even turtles which are small can have a long life, up to fifty years.
Here are some good informative tips for helping your child develop the maturity necessary as he cares for his pet turtle.
– Draw out a schedule of duties. This visual tool will help remind the child that he has a pet chore to do. When he is finished with the feeding or other responsibility, he can place a star in the proper spot to indicate he did the job.
– Start out with a modest subsidy (financial or other treat) to reward your child for following through with his turtle.
– Praise. Positive reinforcement goes a long with with both animals and kids. Verbally reinforcing your child’s new care taking behavior will help the behavior continue.
– Learning about turtles. The library is a great place to explore for information about turtles, which will help your child appreciate his pet. With sufficient knowledge under his belt, there will be no anxious worry on his part because of the creatures habits or behavior.
As your child develops an interest in his turtle, he may wish to add another one. Since turtles are quiet and not disruptive, this is not an issue apart from the expense of acquiring and feeding the turtle.
Once your child is firmly on board with his interest in turtles, and as he grows older, you can encourage him to participate in organizations which help turtles around the world. These include the World Wildlife Fund of the United States and the World Wildlife fund of Canada, the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network, and the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society.
The beneficial lessons learned by taking care of a pet spill over into life. Once one has nurtured a small creature, they develop the compassion for others which is necessary to raise children or maintain healthy relationships with others.