The Joy of Children and Pets
Having pets in our lives and in our homes has so many rewards. They bring us joy, happiness, love, humor, companionship, security. They teach us lessons of all kinds. Bringing a pet into a childs’ life can be one of the most rewarding things of all.
Pets teach kids many valuable lessons that will carry on throughout their entire lives. Compassion, empathy, and responsibility. They can bring a child out of her shell, giving unconditional, non-judgmental love. They can ease loneliness and bring smiles when a child is sad or upset. Pets don’t yell at you, or tell you to clean your room or eat your peas. And they never, ever bully you. Pets are always there, always loving and happy to see you.
Children with learning disorders or challenges that many of us don’t face sometimes interact better with animals than people. Pets can help children de-stress and ease their frustration. Playing with a pet can stimulate their imaginations.
Having a pet can get a child moving, helping them to become more active. Getting them away from the television or video games. Taking the dog for a walk, or throwing a ball around the yard. Chasing a rambunctious little kitten around, pulling a string around for kitty to attack, and giggling all the while.
My 2 year old grandson is so gentle with animals. I love to watch him interact with them. Cats and rats and birds, even a big hairy spider. He tilts his little head, always to the left, puts out his little hand and says naawww. She’s cute, or pet her. He has learned not to pull tails, how to hold an animal properly. He helps make their food, helps with the feeding, scooping of the littler box (which can get a little messy with a two year old) and even helps give them medicine when one of our fosters is sick. He has learned to be kind and gentle and loving. He knows that we need to take care of them and feed them and take them to the “kitty doctor” when they are sick.
Pets affect children in so many ways — developing social skills, exercise patterns, family circumstances. They teach the cycle of life and death. Of course, choosing the right pet for your family’s lifestyle and budget is important. But no matter whether you bring in a horse or a hamster, a snake or a frog, an animal will improve the health and happiness of a child and bring untold riches and rewards to your family.
If you haven’t already done so, bring a pet into your child’s life. Choose carefully; talk with your child and your family. Make it a fun outing, finding the right pet and all of the things that she will need. Don’t forget to check out Jusani for some of those items; bowls, treats, maybe a cute outfit to go home in.
Sit back, enjoy and watch your child blossom as he gets to know your new family member. Let her help you with the care and feeding of your new pet, it’s good for the soul. Check your local shelters or rescue groups, there are some wonderful animals just waiting for you to bring them home!