The Impact of Having Pets on Children’s Education
Written by Olivia Williams Jones
The bond between humans and animals has long been considered one of the most profound connections a person can experience. In fact, this relationship has evolved in such a way that we now refer to it as a friendship or even a version of parenting. We perceive ourselves as pet parents and not mere owners, and we’ve called them our best friends for a very long time.
The same goes for our children, who are even more prone to developing a deep bond with their pet, no matter the species. But how exactly does having a pet influence kids, their learning and their skill development? Here are a few ways your children will benefit from having a pet while growing up.
Responsibility and Discipline
From a very young age, kids enjoy being involved with their pets’ care. Even the simplest responsibilities, such as filling their water and food bowls, allow them to feel important and independent, and their pet will never neglect to show their appreciation through affection, which will further encourage this behavior in children.
As they grow up, kids will assume even more responsibilities on their own, thanks to that previously established pattern of caregiving and gratitude that strengthens their bond with their pet. The beauty of such a powerful commitment a child can feel towards a pet is in its simplicity and transferability – your child will be more likely to take on more different chores and feel good for participating in other tasks at home and school alike.
Healthy socialization is a crucial part of every child’s upbringing. And while some children naturally open up to new people and develop their verbal skills, having a pet has been proven to help in acquiring those abilities, especially for kids that are naturally more introverted or that have had various emotional or psychological issues while growing up.
Having a pet encourages kids to be more alert and communicate freely as they establish a trust bond with their pet. This reflects well on their ability to express themselves in general, thus helping them grow into more communicative, open people.
Children growing up with pets tend to adopt a more active lifestyle, especially with cats and dogs because they require plenty of activity and mental stimulation. Including them in dog walks, local dog shows or even family field trips with your pets lets them develop a natural preference for spending their days in a lively, dynamic environment.
They will seek out even more activities to take part in as time goes by, and they will expect to be more independent; so, teaching your kids to take proper care of their pets outdoors is a crucial part of their learning process. This means including your child in tasks like getting proper dog supplies such as their favorite snacks, leashes, protective tick and flea accessories, shampoos, and more. That way, your kids will likely grow up to love being active, healthy individuals who selflessly care for their loved ones.
Empathy and Loyalty
If there’s a single greatest benefit of developing a relationship between children and their pets, it’s the fact that caring for a pet and giving love and trust teaches children to feel for others more than they would ever be able to do growing up on their own.
Kids will worry about them, share their secrets with them, empathize when they are in pain, nurture them to health and show their affection in an infinite number of ways. They build their compassion and nurture their caring attitude every day as their relationship grows stronger.
Teaching children invaluable life lessons through their bond with their pets is one of the best ways you can encourage your kids to become compassionate, independent, caring adults who will gladly continue the legacy of love for all animals and humans alike, and make the world a better place in their own humble way.
All images from https://pixabay.com/
Olivia Williams Jones is psychologist from Brisbane, dedicated to making some changes in the world, starting from her own environment. Together with her husband, she is a proud mum of two silly boxers, Teo and Mia. She is also a passionate writer about pets, parenting and healthy living. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.