Being a pet owner is a responsible task. It means that the well-being and happiness of your pet depend almost entirely on the decisions you make. And for a child, having a pet at home to care for and nurture is always a big step. If you’re a parent and you’re wondering whether your kids can benefit from being around animals – the answer is definitely yes. A pet can have a very positive influence on your whole family. (1)
Parents often complain that their kids spend way too much time in front of TV and computer screens. What they don’t realise is that the virtual world is simply a lot more interesting for them than the surrounding reality. That’s why to get them away from the Internet, turning such devices off is not nearly enough. You need to offer them something equally, if not more, enjoyable to do instead. That’s when bringing a pet home can be helpful. After all, many people consider their dogs and cats to be their closest companions, and giving your child a chance to form such a relationship with an animal can be very beneficial. It’s also a good opportunity to encourage them to be more active, be it through going for a walk or playing in the garden.
Don’t underestimate the friendship that can develop between children and their pets. It’s a strong bond that can transform into a source of emotional support in difficult moments. Sometimes children don’t feel comfortable confiding in their parents or friends, and can easily start feeling isolated and lonely. A pet cannot talk, nor can it offer guidance, but it can listen, or simply be, and that’s often enough to make all the problems feel less daunting. Even adults have emotional support animals, if it’s beneficial for them, it’s definitely good for your child, as well. Not to mention that even the responsibility of having to take care of another living creature can take your mind off of your troubles.
Great learning opportunity
Caring for a pet can teach your kids the importance of being responsible. It’s a great exercise for the future, but that’s not the only learning opportunity they get. Different animals have different needs, and being around them and observing them is a great way to learn new things in a fun and creative way. And remember that it’s not just dogs and cats you can keep as pets. Fishkeeping is another one of the available options. And you can encourage your children to research various breeds and information about marine life, for example, by adding tropical fish to your aquarium.
Have you ever wondered why pets make such great friends for humans? Animals are very capable of sensing your emotions, they reciprocate the love and attention you give them, and, even more importantly, they don’t make you feel judged. When you’re going through a particularly stressful moment in life, keeping them close will help you calm down and relax. It’s especially beneficial for children, who tend to be shy and keep to themselves, a pet can help them build up their confidence and comfort them whenever necessary.
Learning responsibility is a big part of growing up, and having a pet can make this lesson enjoyable and fun. Not to mention that it can have a positive impact on your child’s health, both physical and physiological. (2)