The history of mankind'sinitial
connection with domesticated animals has long been debated, but a discovery in Israel of a man buried with his arms around a wolf-pup dating back 12,000 years, may be evidence of just how long ago humans discovered the benefits of having pets. Today, many families love their pets and consider their pets to be members of their own families. Whether you choose a cat, a dog, a horse, or a rabbit, the benefits to raising children in a home with pets are great.
Here are some benefits to adding a pet to your family:
1. Pets give unconditional
love. They are non-judgmental, and, especially for only children, lonely children, or children who have sibling rivalry or emotional distress, a pet gives them someone to talk to. A pet can comfort, give support, and listen to a child's troubles without judgment or consequence. And, when playing, a pet can become your child's partner and best buddy
2. A pet can teach a child that he doesn't have to take out his anger or fear on others. Some children become bullies and if they don't have a safe place to share their truest emotions, they may project those emotions onto other children. Because a pet will love your child no matter what he says, a pet gives him a confidant, a safe place in which to verbally pour out his fears and his anger.
3. A pet can teach empathy. Caring for a pet that is so dependent on you teaches empathy
. Your child learns to read your pet's needs: is he hungry? Does he need to go outside? Maybe the pet is scared of the wind, rain or snow and needs to be comforted. Moreover, empathy is the one skill that can be taught and a skill that bullies often lack.
4. A pet can teach confidence and responsibility. Children can gain confidence by having the responsibility of caring for a pet. Children as young as three years old can manage simple tasks such as filling the pet's water and food bowls. As your child gets older, he cangroom
and walk the pet.
5. Animals can helpsocialize
children and increase verbal
skills. You've likely seen even little kids who are still learning to talk attempting to chatter away with pets. In this way, pets give not only social and emotional support but also cognitive language skill support to children. A pet's simple presence provides verbal stimulus
to help your child practice talking and socializing with another being.
6. Pets (and animals in general) can be very therapeutic
for children.Studies have shown how pets can help lower blood pressure, speed up recovery time, and reduce stress and anxiety. We see this with troubled children and Autistic children, and with children who experience PTSD: when they are with animals they can immediately
relate because they sense the animals are unconditional in their love and affection.