Avoiding responsibility - FamilyEducation
Avoiding responsibility
11/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

All 3 of my kids have a list of chores they have to do daily. They have to make their beds, clean their rooms, and they have to help with other household chores. They also have barn chores, each has their own horse, so they have to clean it's stall, feed, groom, etc. (I help my 5 year old with his).

Anyway, for christmas both my girls (10 and 13) had decided they were going to ask for puppies. We talked about the added responsibility of a puppy, they begged and pleaded and promised to take care of them, so I agreed they could each have a puppy. I knew a lot of the care would fall to me, but I felt raising a puppy is a great learning experiance. The day after I agreed to puppies, Low and Behold, 2 stray puppies show up!

Anyway we've had the puppies for 2 months (We posted a found ad in the paper, took them to the vet, bought crates, etc). Well my 13 year old has decided a puppy is too much work. She gets angry when he pees in the floor right after taking him out, and she had a fit when he chewed up her favorite shoes. I want to make her keep the puppy, I feel that animals are not disposable objects, but my husband thinks I shouldn't force her to keep it when she has so many other resposibilities. My other daughter, who is younger is having no problems with all her chores + horse+ puppy.

Should I let her give away her puppy? I think she'll learn a lot if I hold her to her promise. Hubby thinks I'm being too harsh.

I think you should find another home for the puppy. It is just not a good fit right now, and frankly, animals are disposable objects. If, on the other hand, YOU want a puppy, then take over all responsibility and call the puppy yours. At thirteen, it is valuable to learn that the thing that looks and sounds cute is too much responsibility for a kid like you. When she's 17 and dating, she can remember, and recognize that she is still too young to make a life-long commitment, even in dog years.

We are in the same boat with my 25 y/o daughter. It may have more to do with your daughter's personality than with age. My daughter had begged for years for a puppy and loved her when she was tiny but did not want to do the necessary training as the puppy got older or puppy proof her room. Within a few days of getting her, we had fallen in love with the puppy (a now 11 month old, 7 lb Chug) and decided to keep her. My stepsons would have been heartbroken not to see her when then visit and our older dog is also very attached to her. My daughter still walks her a few times a week and takes her places occasionally but she is our dog. I agree that your daughter should not be forced to keep a puppy she does not want. There are many other ways to teach her responsibility.

I see your point. I just hate to renege on an agreement.I feel like letting her give up on the puppy is teaching her that she can just back out of her commitments. Ah well, I think I'll at least make her participate in finding it a new home.

I'm a huge animal lover, so I have a hard time w/ the idea of giving them away. We, also, were in the same boat where our kids and I wanted a puppy, and my husband gave in. We compromised, though, by getting an older dog (she's 4 and already housebroken). Still, though, she's a lot of work, and yes, a lot falls on me. But the kids love her, so we've kept her. I don't know if I wld commit to such a big responsibility, though, if I were in your shoes. It sounds like you have your hands full already. In all fairness to the puppy, as much as I love them, you shld probably find it another good home. Is there anyone you know that wld take the puppy? This way you can still visit it from time to time. That wld be the ideal situation. Otherwise, the puppy's care will fall mostly on you. My kids help w/ feeding our dog, and walking her sometimes, but not always. Also, you have to consider what you're going to do when you're away from home. Maybe in time you can consider an older dog, but in my opinion, unless you have the time to put into a puppy, don't get one. You can explain to your daughter that b/c she didn't hold up to her end of the bargain, you must give the puppy away. Sorry. 8-( BTW, on the flip side, our dog was previously owned by another family who cared for her well, but when they cld no longer take care of her, she was put into a shelter. I wldn't recommend this b/c although our dog is very sweet and lovable, she also suffers from separation anxiety. By this I mean, she cries every time we leave the house, and a few times she even escaped b/c she wanted to be w/ us. So that's another thing to consider if you decide to find your puppy a new home. Good luck!

We have an elderly dog (13) and adding the 2 stray puppies to our household was a big decision. They were strays who were sick and hurt (Big Vet Bill) and had obviously been dumped. With horses and jobs, and school, and afterschool activities and other current issues, I made it clear to my girls that keeping the puppies would be impossible without their help. We reached an agreement, who was responsible for what, wrote it down, and signed it. The first couple weeks we had no issues, but once the new wore off my eldest quit putting the work in. She'd started ignoring the puppy's needs and foisting the puppy chores onto her sister. Well I tried to make her honor her agreement and take care of the puppy (walks, potty, and baths). She complained and it turned into a huge issue with my husband. I wanted someone to back me up, and tell me I should hold her to her word, but I gave up, the puppy deserves better and I don't have the energy to force the issue, especially if I may be wrong. My sister-in-law had already offered to take one of the puppies, so I've already found it a good home. But I made my 13 year old make the call, and ask if she still wanted the puppy. She came yesturday to pick it up. What irritates me, is that my 13 year old is so smug about getting out of our agreement. I'm pretending it doesn't bother me, I'm the grown-up and I did what was best for my family and the puppy.

let the good sister have both the puppies, and your other daughter has to clean out 2 horse stalls instead of one. That will teach her that you can't shirk your responsibilities and if you aren't goign to do what you need to do, you won't get what you want, and you'll get extra work to do while someone else cleans up your mess.

OR better yet ... since you already gave the puppy away. She ought to pay for the supplies that you bought for the second puppy and the effort and hassle that was involved. And the other rsponsible sister should benefit. So make her clean out her sisters' horse stall for a while. That should teach her a lesson. She has to clean up her own messes.

Let her be. Don't punish her for making a childish decision while she is a child!