5 Reasons Why You Should Bring a Pet into Your Family
The reasons to avoid bringing a pet into your family home are obvious. As we live our busy lives filled with work, school, technology and extra-curricular activities, a pet can seem like a crazy idea! Why would you want another mouth to feed and another responsibility?
But when you think about it, a pet is the perfect way to teach your children to become responsible, compassionate individuals. Pet ownership is one of the most natural ways to build a child’s willingness to care for something or someone other than themselves.
Picture your child being gentle with a bird, playful with a dog or cuddly with a cat. Your child will need to learn to read their pet’s needs and wants. As they discover when their pet is hungry, thirsty, ill, or annoyed they will be honing in on skills that allow them to be less egotistical and more selfless.
Does owning sound like a good idea after all?
Here are some more values and abilities children develop when a pet enters their life.
Sensitivity to Non-Verbal Cues
Having a pet allows children to become more sensitive to the non-verbal cues of others. As they begin to understand the body language of their pet, their understanding of a person’s body language will also develop and they will be able to respond to people’s non-verbal cues appropriately.
Accepting the Cycle of Life
The concepts of life, death and grief are difficult for children to understand. For some children, having a pet may result in the first time they experience death. While it’s hard, it does give them the experience of knowing that memories remain and you can eventually move on.
Responsibility, Competence and Confidence
Being responsible for more than just themselves is a big learning curve for some children. Having a pet means they suddenly need to be responsible for another living thing! Involve your child in looking after their pet as soon as it enters your home so they can build their confidence and have it become a regular part of their routine. Things like feeding, washing or cleaning their pet’s area may be part of your child’s duties.
Attachment to Nature
Children who have been around a variety of pets are far more likely to approach pets in their friend’s homes with equal ease and caution. Children who haven’t been around animals, particularly dogs, can become very fearful of them and may act inappropriately around them, causing the animal to lash out. A pet is a great investment in helping children overcome their fears. If they’re babies, you can prevent them from ever being fearful while always being confident in knowing the correct and gentle way to interact with animals.
At Mindarie Keys Early Learning School, our child care educators are always looking at ways to integrate pet ownership and natural world activities into our daily routines. We take the lessons learned at home and extend them into the childcare environment. For quality education and care for all children, contact Mindarie Keys Early Learning School.