Why Pets are Great for Kids
As a parent, the very thought of getting a pet may make you cringe: you see the extra costs, the extra dirt and the extra chores.
But to a child (and the mood of the household) it means so much more than that.
Saša and I have been really tempted to adopt a pet (or two!) after seeing the effect they have had on the lives and homes of friends of ours (and their kids). I must admit that we are almost ready to take the plunge. They say you should get a pet before you have kids, but sometimes it’s good to jazz thing up and do them the other way around J
Here’s why pets are great for kids:
1. Movement and Activity
Kids with pets run around much more and get outside more often. It absolutely beats the couch potato syndrome we all desperately want
our kids to avoid. Pets encourage kiddies to:
- Throw a ball
- Play fetch
- Run around in the yard
- Be outside!
2. Growth in Responsibility
Once you get a pet, you can start encouraging your kids to check that the animals are fed and watered. It gives them such a sense of responsibility, coupled with the reward of taking care of something that is alive and dependant on them.
Remember, parents teach responsibility, not pets. So always supervise little ones while they are topping up bowls.
3. Health and Wellbeing
There are some phenomenal health benefits of having pets, for kids and grown-ups:
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer trips to the doctor
- Less likely to suffer from depression
- Elevated serotonin (when playing with a pet)
- Everyone is more relaxed and calm
4. Emotional Benefits
I have seen it happen countless times: kids find refuge in a dog-cuddle or a bunny-hug.
Here’s why kiddies love pets:
- Pets keep little secrets safe
- Pets always give a cuddle, and never hurry off to do something else
- They offer love, loyalty and affection
- There’s always someone to play with when everyone else is busy
- Kids grow in confidence (I’ve seen tiny girls speak out with calm confidence and firmness: ‘No!’ And then watched in awe as the dog obeyed! This reinforces that being firm doesn’t mean being cruel; it is all about being assertive and confident from a place of love.)
So, if you’re still not sure, don’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids. They will absolutely thank you for it.
Happy parenting… with a poop scoop!