I’ve had pets since the day my parents brought me home from the hospital. Cozy, our Siamese cat, even slept with me in my crib.
Pets add so much to children’s lives. They are teachers, therapists, bodyguards, and best friends. My kids have always had animals, just as I have. I couldn’t imagine a life without them.
Below are three profound benefits growing up with pets has had in my children’s lives, as well as my own.
1. Give unconditional love
Growing up I was extremely shy. I always knew I never had to worry that my pets would judge or make fun of me.
My children also know that our pets will always love them, regardless of what brand of phone they have, or how much they weigh.
2. Teach empathy
My pets were my best friends growing up. Taking care of them taught me that my actions affect other beings, as well as how to tune in to their emotions to better care for them.
My children have learned these things too. Watching my four year old daughter snuggle with our cat makes litter box clean up all worth it!
3. Emotional support
Pets are great listeners. They never talk over us, or offer unsolicited advice! Sometimes, it even seems as though they understand what we are saying.
Studies have shown animals can have many therapeutic qualities. They are frequently brought into children’s hospitals to help ease the anxiety of the sick children.
I, as well as my kids, have cried into their soft fur many times. They can also be quite the characters, apparently knowing that laughter is always the best medicine!
I think raising children with pets is important for their general well being.
Kids learn valuable life lessons, as well as build a solid foundation of responsibility and confidence through caring for animals. In return they receive unconditional love, and a best friend for many years!