One thing I have learned in the past few years is that when children grow up with pets, they develop a special bond with them. Some studies have shown that children may develop a stronger bond with their pets than with their siblings. Pets help children to be happier and to have better social interactions with others. However, I have seen how many kids show extreme fear or shyness around pets. Usually, children fear the unknown, and when a child hasn’t been exposed to animals, he/she may feel insecure or frightened. It’s important that parents show a good attitude towards animals, so the child can learn from them and start feeling more comfortable around animals. The best thing to do when bringing a pet to a home with children is to consider parental involvement, discuss the pet ownership responsibilities and have a plan to take care of the furry friend.
A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, would get invaluable training in learning to treat others the same way.
Children raised with pets show many benefits. The relationship with a pet and a child can also help develop and expand non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy. Pets can help children in many ways:
• They can be there for the child when they need to share secrets and private thoughts–children often talk to their pets, like they do to their stuffed animals.
• They equip children with life lessons, including reproduction, birth, illnesses, accidents and death.
• They can assist in developing responsible behavior in the children who care for them.
• They provide an opportunity for kids to learn to respect other living things.
Also, owning a pet can provide a child with physical activity, comfort, love, loyalty, and affection. Having a pet as a child is a fantastic experience but always consider the child’s age and developmental maturity. Children should be reminded in a gentle way of the animal’s needs so they can learn to take care of it, and sooner than later, the child and the pet would be inseparable, providing the child one of the best friendships ever!