Pets at Home – What Can Children Learn From Them?
Pets at home spending time with children. Who is teaching who, and who is learning what? Those of us who have pets at home know what a joy it is to be a pet owner. It’s perfect for adults since animals can instantly lift our mood, making us feel childish and young at heart for a short time.
Animals are known for being helpful in all kinds of situations, from guiding the blind to helping people with PTSD recover from severe traumas.
However, those who benefit the most from having pets at home are the youngest. Studies have shown that growing up with a dog or a cat by their side is scientifically useful for children.
A boy and his dog make a glorious pair;
No better friendship is found anywhere,
For they talk and they walk and they run and they play,
And they have their deep secrets for many a day;
And that boy has a comrade who thinks and who feels,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heel.
~ A Boy and His Dog by Sherri-Craftymom
Responsibility of having pets at home
Most parents won’t bring a pet home for their children due to a well-known fact: they know that they will – sooner or later – have to do all the cleaning and feeding of the pet, while kids will only play with their furry friend. However, this doesn’t have to be this way.
Talk to your children before adopting an animal, and make it loud and clear that with all the petting and playing comes lots of responsibility. Younger children can pour the water and food in the animal’s bowl, while the older ones should be prepared to take care of cleaning, walking their pet and buying pet supplies online.
This is the best way you can teach your kids about the responsibility of pets at home in a fun and engaging way.
Health of pets
Various research studies show that children who grow up with pets at home are less likely to get sick from a wide range of illnesses — from common colds to more serious ones. Also, numerous studies show that children with mild allergies (most often the ones allergic to animal hair) managed to beat their illness with the help of their pets. This is because children often get in touch with small amounts of bacteria or parasites brought in by their dog or cat, and this, in the long run, helps them develop a stronger immune system.
So, the next time your kid gets all dirty while playing outside with the dog, don’t be mad, be glad!
Further, pets are known to be extremely helpful when it comes to the psychological development of a child. Having a pet to whom they can read bedtime stories, or with whom they can discuss problems they had at school can help your kids become more confident with friends and other people.
The lack of pressure they experience while talking to a pet can be a great exercise for facing the potential problems and conflicts both in childhood and later in life.
Although animals sometimes happen to be mischievous, like children, they know how to admit the guilt, usually in a hilarious and adorable way. That’s how children (watching the way the dog, for example, stands in the corner after breaking the vase) will learn to accept the consequences for what they have done.
Also, we ( the dog owners) know how comforting it can be when we’re in a bad mood, and our pooch comes to cuddle and make us feel better. Similarly, children who are growing up with a pet will learn more about compassion and empathy. They will know that they should offer comfort when someone’s feeling down but also share the happiness that’s not their own, instead of feeling envy and turning to bullying or humiliating.
As you can see, a child who is growing up alone, especially if it’s the only one, can develop both physical and emotional problems. But, a kid who’s growing up with a loyal pet, a furry sidekick, will have a healthy, happy life.
Gabriella Diesendorf is a freelance writer from Australia and a devoted mother of two kids, two cats, and one large dog.
She loves badgering about pets, green lifestyle choices, and parenting techniques, and if you mention attachment parenting she will bore you to death. Right now she is on a mission of bringing more kids and animals together.
You can visit her favorite pet supply store for more interesting articles about pets!