Two important benefits for kids who grow up with pets
Having a family pet is not just a great way of bringing more life into your home – it also comes with two important benefits.
One the most important benefits – especially for parents – is the effect that growing up with a pet can have on kids.
It’s difficult to overstate an animal’s influence on their development and health. So if you’re asking yourself whether keeping a pet at home is a good idea when you have kids, here are a few reasons to prove that it’s one of the best decisions you can make.
1) Emotional growth
It’s not surprising that so many people consider their pet to be their best friend. But what many of us don’t realise is that the relationship that can develop between a child and an animal is something truly unique.
Experiencing such a close bond at a young age can help kids learn empathy, compassion, and the importance of companionship – values that will help them build healthy and stable relationships with other people as they move through life.
This means that the benefits of bringing a pet home affect not only the present but also the future of your child.
But there’s one more thing that’s worth mentioning, because improved emotional growth is not the only benefit. There’s also the fact that such a friend can be a source of constant emotional support, which is incredibly important – especially for young children, or those who tend to be shy, who not always can fully express their feelings.
Knowing that there’s another living creature – and remember that aquariums and fish tanks full of fish can be just as helpful here as a dog or a rabbit – to talk to and care for can help them deal with stressful situations.
2) Being responsible
Every parent wants to teach their child what it means to be responsible, but it’s not always easy to do so. Luckily, it’s another issue that can be helped by the presence of an animal.
If your child is asking for a pet, you can use this opportunity to teach them important values. Take a moment to sit down with your family and have a serious conversation about what inviting such a creature into your home entitles – more often than not, kids aren’t really aware of how much work it requires.
Giving them some of those tasks (of course, you need to consider their age and capabilities when assigning duties) offers you a great opportunity to teach responsibility and the value of care and respect for others.
Training a dog can be an excellent way to build patience and help your child develop a closer bond with their pet. Of course, you have to be there to provide encouragement and to teach your child proper dog training techniques like using positive reinforcement, such as healthy and delicious dog treats, safe dog toys, praises, pets, and belly rubs.
Your active presence and validation will play a huge part in making the entire experience of raising a pet positive and rewarding for your child.
It’s also worth remembering that there are many species you can keep as pets – even though most people tend to automatically think about dogs and cats whenever this subject is mentioned.
Sometimes though, your options are limited for reasons that are completely out of your control, such as health problems like allergies or lack of space to accommodate the needs of a bigger animal.
The important thing is that the type of species you choose doesn’t limit the benefits you can gain. On the contrary, sometimes the most unexpected choices can offer you even more.
For example, setting up an aquarium at home can be a great idea. Fish tend to be low-maintenance pets, so they are great even for the younger kids, and the incredible stress-reducing effect of aquariums has been proven over the years.
Photo by Delbert Pagayona