When I was growing up, I don’t think I knew anyone that didn’t have at least one pet* in their house. I definitely had my fair share of pets because my mom was an avid animal lover. And because of her, so am I! I grew up with a variety of animals in my life, which not only helped me to become an animal lover and animal rights advocate, but it helped me develop as a person — as a more compassionate, responsible person. Pets can be very beneficial for everyone, but I believe are especially beneficial for children. So today I thought I’d talk about some of the ways animals can really help kids develop!
For starters, having a pet teaches kids compassion. Most kids become incredibly attached to their pets; they love them like they would their parents or siblings. By having to care for animals, kids learn how to express love, kindness, and empathy.
It also teaches them responsibility. Having kids help with feeding and taking care of their pets allows them to learn what responsibility is in a way that they completely understand. When I was a kid, I had to help take care of my pets. I had to feed them, brush them, clean them, and help with all the other responsibilities that come with having a pet. I loved my pets, so this was an easy way of teaching me to be responsible. I had a job to do and I had to do it because my pets relied on me to care for them. Kids can learn so much responsibility from caring for their pets.
Taking care of an animal makes kids feel helpful. Most adults love to feel useful and have some type of responsibility, and children are no different. I think most kids love to help and be a part of something, so taking care of an animal is a great way for kids to feel helpful.
Animals give children unconditional love. Having a pet is great for kids — especially kids who are only children. I was an only child and, while I had friends, a great mom, and lovely grandparents in my life, animals provided me with a completely different level of unconditional love. Animals will generally love those who love them back and those who take good care of them.
Animals can help kids’ health — both mentally (anxiety) and physically (studies have shown that petting them can help lower blood pressure). I mean, who doesn’t feel better when they’re in the presence of animals? My pets always comforted me whenever I was sad, mad, or lonely. They’re always there when you need them, and kids need that stability. Animals can be great for a child’s health.
Studies have also shown that having pets can also help create good self-esteem — and that’s likely because animals give needed unconditional love and friendship. Animals provide a good source of love for kids. They always provide needed support without judgement. Kids can completely be themselves around animals, which really helps create good self-image in children.
There are many reasons why having a pet can be very beneficial to children. Animals are lovely creatures that bring a lot of joy to the many people who appreciate them! I couldn’t imagine having no animals in my life, so I’ll always be grateful that my mom adopted our pets when I was a kid, and also instilled in me a love of animals.
Do you have any pets?
*Side Note: I know that many animal activists have mixed feelings when it comes to the term “pet”. I sometimes share those same feelings. Ultimately, I believe that animals should have the freedom to live their own lives, without human interference; however, cats, dogs, and certain other animals have been domesticated and there are so many who need a good home. As someone who loves animals more than anything, I believe that by adopting I’m saving animals and giving them a decent life. So, even though many animal activists (including myself) don’t like the word “pet”, it’s what people call the animals who live with them. I don’t believe that animals are inferior to humans. I believe that we’re different species and, as humans, we need to learn to live amongst other animals without having a negative effect on them.