Perhaps you can think of a hundred excuses why it’s not a good idea to get a pet at this time. You’ll have to take it out on a walk, it will raise your expenses, it will ruin your furniture, you’ll end up being the only one who has to take care of it, so on and so forth.
But, what if I was to tell you that the benefits of having a pet outweigh any of these excuses and that it’s not only good for you to have one but it’s also great for your children.
Here are some reasons why you should finally make up your mind and get a family pet.
- Pets offer non-judgemental friendship. Let’s face it. Children at school or the playground can sometimes be outright mean. They might laugh at your child or bully them enough to upset them but pets always offer their love and support. Your child will feel less lonely and happier when they have a pet who is there for them.
- Having a pet helps children be more expressive and verbal. Kids often have a hard time sharing their emotions or expressing their thoughts to others but kids have a good time chatting away with their pets. It’s a great way for them to learn to put their thoughts into words and to gain more confidence.
- Children who have pets are generally more empathetic. Having a pet makes children more caring and understanding towards the needs of others. Pets have a great impact on children’s social skills and how kindly they treat others.
- Managing a pet helps kids gain structure and control. When children take care of pets, they learn many skills such as managing time. Pets rely on us to feed them, walk them or bathe them so it offers children a routine which they need to thrive.
- Taking care of pets teaches children responsibility. When kids know they have another living being to take care of, they take pride in it and do what they can to fulfill their role towards their pet. They know someone is dependent on them and that makes them behave more responsibly.
- Pets help increase your children’s physical activity. Most likely, your child will move around more, chase after the pet or take it for a walk which is great for children. Being physically active not only makes children stronger physically but also helps release happy hormones in their bodies.
- Children who have pets are generally calmer and experience less anxiety. There is something about petting a soft animal and having it respond to you in a loving manner that helps children with their own moods. It makes children happier overall to have a pet around.
- Pets give you a sense of worth. Kids naturally feel a sense of purpose when they start looking after an animal and they know that the animal is waiting on them or relying on them for company just as much as they are relying on them for friendship.
- Stroking a furry animal or petting it can make things less stressful. When things aren’t going the way your child wants and you can see their mood changing, ask your child to pet their animal. Research states that petting/stroking an animal provides stress relief and helps children calm down.
- Having a pet teaches kids about relationships. Kids learn coping skills, how to better control their emotions, how to verbalize their feelings, how to be more empathetic and caring all whilst taking care of a pet. Kids who are generally emotionally attached to their pets can also build good relationships with others around them.
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ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Internationally Recognised Emotional Literacy & Mindfulness Expert Tenille Bentley is the founder of The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy and the author of the children’s emotional literacy books with Jazzy and Pinky and The Energy Ball. Giving children a wonderful introduction to understanding their emotions and what to do with them.
Tenille has been featured on Channel 9 News and other major outlets. Her work has been recognized in the community by The Governor of Western Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia, and Australian Financial Review.
As a child, she experienced severe anxiety and emotional traumas as well as bullying which left her feeling isolated and unable to understand why she was feeling the way she did. As an adult, this impacted her ability to make healthy decisions because she didn’t have the tools to understand her emotions.
This is why she is passionate about equipping parents with the tools to support their children to make better decisions in life and healthy ones to help support and create a balanced home life.