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Raising Kids with Animals

Updated: Mar 6

When I was a little girl I had many pets. Bunnies, guinea pigs, fish - two particular 25-cent goldfish lived so long we actually had to move them to a cow water tank when we moved away, cats, dogs, and chickens. I got to see all parts of an animal's life cycle. We had two cats who got pregnant and had kittens. Our guinea pig, Daisy, was housed with a "female" guinea pig but she ended up pregnant so we all know that the "female" was in fact a male. Being able to see the cycle of life from a well loved pet is so special. I had to go through pets dying and running away. As an adult, I can say that I appreciated my parents saying yes to another animal. Letting my brother and I learn how to care for an animal and love that animal. I always pictured my adult life full of animals and wanted to give that to Quinn as well.

We have a half acre in North Idaho where we have 4 ducks, a goose, 20-something chickens, 6 adult bunnies + more babies depending on the season, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. Oh, and you can't forget the hamster Quinn bought with her own money that she keeps in her room.

Broken black tort holland lop

We've had a lot of tragedy with our animals as is normal when you own different pets. But in the sadness of losing a pet or animal, Quinn has learned to take it in stride. She's learned it's a part of the process. She's learned it's part of life and part of the animal cycle. There are predators and prey. Unfortunately, our backyard chickens and ducks fall prey to local owls and hawks every once in a blue moon. It's always devastating to go out and find a dead bird in your yard. There is always a good cry from Quinn but then we move forward and I think it teaches us to appreciate the animals we do have that much more.

Quinn is an animal lover. She is so sweet with all her animals and mothers them so well. She's compassionate with them and patient with them. Stormi, her hamster, bites me once and I put her back in her enclosure. She bites Quinn and Quinn just lets it roll off her shoulder.

Pets and animals have taught Quinn responsibility. They have taught her how to be compassionate and patient. They have taught her to appreciate the time we get with our animals. I think they have a part in making her brave and friendly. I think they also bring out her naturally compassionate side. As a family, we take turns with the chores and it has taught us all about teamwork and helping others out. As Quinn gets older, it's fun to see her be more involved with the chores and enjoy taking care of our animals. She is so helpful.

I believe that when we do things with our hands, we stay in a space that keeps our creativity going. We stay grounded and are easily fulfilled. We stay content and I think that's important. It's missing in today's culture.

Although having animals keeps us busy, at the end of the day it provides entertainment, responsibility and many more aspects that I think are so important for kids to grow up with.

What animals are you raising your kids with? Or are you anti-pets? Comment below!

Baby bunny in a Barbie jeep

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