What Does Having a Pet Teach Children?

Pets add color into your family’s life in the most beautiful ways—they supply joy, fun, love, and a lifetime of memories. If you are considering adding a pet to your family, it may not only improve your family’s bonding moments, but it can also benefit your child as well.

Having a pet of several pets at home provides a fun, interactive way for children to learn at home. It turns out that not all the best life lessons can be taught by humans, because some of them can be learned while having a relationship with a pet. Whether you are considering adding a dog, cat, bird, or even a turtle, here are some valuable lessons that your child can learn with your pet of choice:

Pets teach children responsibility

Caring for a pet teaches children responsibility. A pet is more than a creature that keeps us entertained—it is a living thing that needs to be taken care of. As we know, parents need to be fed, groomed, and given with a lot of attention. When children see adults provide a pet’s necessities, it urges them to be involved too. They can be taught to feed the pets, change bedding, perform basic grooming practices, and play with them. Oftentimes, parents expect too much from their children quickly, which can overwhelm kids with such responsibility. To avoid such scenarios, instead of expecting a child to take care of a pet right off the bad, start introducing your child slowly to the responsibilities. Allow your child to play and bond with your pet to increase their trust and sense of responsibility with each other.  Learn how to responsibly are for your pet such as exercising in pet runs, walking and more.

Pets give children a sense of self

Pets provide children with unlimited companionship. A friendly, active pet like a dog will likely reflect constant love and affection to a child. A pet’s affection can be shown through different ways—by constantly following a child, giving a sloppy kiss, or by just spending playtime with each other. These bonding moments help children form a healthy sense of self and build self-esteem.

Pets can teach children leadership skills

Families with pets, especially dogs, have to enforce ground rules, discipline the pet, and give rewards for good behavior. These actions help children increase confidence in their leadership and commanding abilities, which are best formed in the early years to make him/her a good leader someday.

Pets teach children compassion and companionship

At the end of the day, pets cannot survive without providing them food, drinks, affection, and other life’s necessities. They are heavily reliant to us, which is why caring for them requires patience, kindness, understanding, and compassion—some of the many values children can extend through their interactions with pets.

On the other hand, pets can be some of the best friends children will ever have in life. The special bond between a pet and a child is something that should be fostered properly—the idea of giving unconditional love is a valuable lesson not many children have the opportunity to learn. Don’t let this opportunity pass—a pet can be your child’s priceless treasure that will help him/her learn how to love someone without bounds.

Pets teach children how to cope up with loss

Apparently, caring for a pet is not all rainbows and butterflies. The lifespan of dogs and cats is deliberately shorter than that of humans, so more often than not, a child’s first experience with death of a loved one is the loss of a pet. If this is managed in a proper way, the pet’s death, no matter how heartbreaking, can teach a child how to manage loneliness and sadness.

Pets can teach children behavioral awareness

It’s vital for parents to teach their children to pay attention to the behavior they show to their pets. With proper parental guidance, children can learn good behavior to their pets, resulting in a gentler and rewarding treatment from the receiving end.

Pets can teach children respect

One has to show respect in order to gain a pet’s love and affection, and children are no exception to this rule. They need to practice showing respect in order to be respected back. Showing respect means giving the pet enough space and time to do whatever it wants.