6 Important Lessons Owning a Rabbit can Teach your Tween

Your tween wants a pet and you’ve been considering one, but you’re wondering what kind of pet would be best for your tween. Dogs and cats seem like a lot of responsibility, so you’ve been hesitant to get one.  How about a rabbit?  Rabbits aren’t just cute and cuddly, but they can teach your tween important life lessons that will stick with your child for a long time.  Let’s look at six of them.

Responsibility

The first thing any pet teaches a child is responsibility.  While rabbits are easier to care for than dogs, the rabbit still needs to be interacted with, fed, given water and housed. Your tween can do all those things under your supervision and have a great time enjoying the bunny. Your child will learn what cages and hutches will make a good environment for the pet rabbit, what to feed it, and how to ensure the rabbit will be cared for when your family goes on vacation. By learning responsibility with this pet, your tween will understand what it is to be responsible for something living.

Empathy

As a child grows, he or she needs to develop empathy for living beings. By learning and understanding that a rabbit is a living, breathing creature, capable of showing emotion, feeling pain, and having basic needs, your child will learn to empathize with the rabbit.  Your tween will know when the rabbit is bored, hungry, thirsty, or just wanting some playtime as your child cares for the rabbit.

Respect for Animals

Along with empathy, your child will grow a healthy respect for animals. Your tween needs to learn that rabbits aren’t toys that can be handled roughly and put away when done. Rabbits are delicate creatures that need proper handling and care. Your tween needs to learn how to be gentle and take the time to allow an animal to trust him or her. Likewise, because your tween will feel empathy toward the rabbit, it transfers rapidly to respect for other animals under your guidance.

Diligence

Rabbits are naturally prey animals, so they are not trusting at first.  It takes time and perseverance to gain a rabbit’s trust.  You can help your tween establish trust by showing your child how to take slow steps in handling the rabbit. Your child will learn through diligence to gain the pet’s trust, thus creating a wonderful bond.

Budgeting

Your tween can learn the important lesson about budgeting with the rabbit. Rabbits need housing, food, treats, and veterinary care, all which cost money.  You can teach your child to save allowance money and establish a bunny budget. Having your tweet learn how to handle a simple budget is an important step in financial planning that will serve your child well.

Self-Esteem

Caring for a pet can improve your child’s self-esteem.  Your child gets positive regard and interaction from the pet, thus increasing your child’s self-esteem.  Knowing that someone (the rabbit) depends on him or her can greatly improve feelings of being worthy.  Your child’s peers may wish to spend time with your child and pet, thus giving your tween more interaction with them, thus making more friends.