If you’ve been reluctant to get a pet for your kids, perhaps you’ll change your mind when you hear that there are numerous benefits of your children growing up with animals. Apart from giving them a friend who they’ll simply adore, you will provide them with an opportunity to learn many important life lessons. In addition, being around animals can positively affect children’s health and other aspects of their development.
Positive Effects on Health
One of the main concerns parents have about getting a pet for their children is exposing them to numerous germs and bacteria. However, it has actually been proven that growing up with an animal companion can positively influence your children’s health. Firstly, children who are surrounded with animals are less likely to develop common allergies, unlike the little ones who have been kept away from them. The reason behind this is that they are exposed to certain bacteria from an early age, including many outdoor and indoor allergens, which makes their organisms become more resilient. Secondly, as you have probably noticed, people tend to be surprisingly relaxed when they are around animals. Although this might not seem as an important factor, it can actually be of significance when it comes to heart health. In stressful situations, being around pets can regulate the heart rate and lower the blood pressure, thus improving heart health. Finally, being around animals can decrease anxiety – if they find themselves in a new situation, children feel much safer and comfortable when they have their animal friend with them.
Emotional Benefits of Having a Pet
Interaction with animals can affect the emotional aspect of your children’s development. By caring for their pet, your kids will develop higher levels of empathy. They will start thinking about someone else, their needs and fears, and will try to give as much love as their pets give to them. Another important benefit is higher self-esteem that your children will build by taking care of their animal friends. By giving them a pet, you’ll also give them a responsibility, thus showing them that you believe in them and their ability to take care of another living being. The list of benefits doesn’t stop here – your kids will be more caring and open to their environment and they will engage in social activities with other children more easily. Finally, they will be more positive and happy, since they’ll have a friend who loves them unconditionally.
While growing up, your children need to acquire a sense of responsibility, so you need to assign certain tasks to them from time to time. Taking care of their pet is probably the biggest task you could give them. This way, they will have to think about feeding and bathing their pet, and, once they become a bit older, they can be responsible for obtaining necessary pet supplies themselves. As already mentioned, not only will they learn responsibility, but they will also develop a high level of self-esteem, when entrusted with such an important task.
The Invaluable Benefit of Having a Friend
One of the most amazing qualities of both children and animals is the ability to love unconditionally. Not only will you give your children an animal to take care of, but you will also give them a true friend. And, what’s more valuable than having a friend? They will always have someone to talk to, share their worries and fears with and turn to when feeling hurt. Not to mention that, by interacting with their companion, your kids will improve their verbal skills. By giving your kids a pet, you will ensure that they never feel lonely.
Having a pet comes with a fair share of responsibilities, which isn’t necessarily a drawback, as we have already shown. Next time your children ask you to get them a pet, make sure to keep these valuable benefits in mind, and really “think about it”.