By Emily Parker, Catological.com
We all know that owning a pet can improve your life in a number of ways. Emotional Pet Support recognizes that they give us a routine, increase responsibility, provide us with love and increase our daily exercise. But what benefits do they provide for children in particular?
These animals can be held responsible for not only improving your child’s immune system but they also teach responsibility. For instance, neighborhood jobs such as dog walking help them learn self-motivation, reliability and budgeting.
Having a dog or cat in the home not only helps your child learn how to complete more tasks, but helps and expands a kid’s emotional and mental well-being. In this article, we will look at a few of those ways in which your child can be set up for the future by looking after their mental and emotional well-being.
1. Self-esteem and confidence
Young children are often skittish when it comes to reading out loud. They may feel self-conscious or like making mistakes is embarrassing. But reading to a pet can help them in this department. This is because cats and dogs don’t give the child any impression of being judgmental. Instead, they lend a listening ear.
According to Better Reading, animal rescue groups in the United States allow for children to read to cats, giving them a boost of confidence. These situations are a win all around. The kids have higher self-esteem and the animals enjoy being talked to, even if they can’t fully grasp the story being told.
2. Relating to others
Empathy is defined as the ability to put yourself in another’s shoes. A child who is more empathetic tends to do better in school, different social settings, and at home.
The Butte Humane Society recognizes that kids can learn how to care about the feelings of others through their dog or cat, whether it is through daily care-taking or learning how to interact appropriately.
When a child is held responsible for the family pet, they must understand that their furry friend has needs and wants. Even younger children can learn empathy by nurturing and taking care of them. They will also begin to understand that the more good acts you do, the more someone will like you.
Learning how to interact with another is essential for learning empathy. For instance, a maddened cat will educate your kid on how to treat others with respect. Though a hard lesson to watch, your child might benefit from a few scratches!
3. Social interactions and relationship-building
We all know that cats and dogs are our best friends, but can they help our children make new buddies? Not all kids need this boost as some can easily walk up to any classmate and ask, “What’s your favorite color?” For some, however, it is quite difficult to step out of their shell.
Dr. Lynette LaScala points out that children with autism are among this percentage of children lacking confidence and communication skills. They often feel as if they need to isolate themselves because they lack social skills.
Having a pet at home to talk to allows them to practice their communication. Cats are great at providing this opportunity. Dogs can also aid in social interactions outside of the home such as through meeting neighbors on walks.
Having a cat, or dog, in your home will help your child’s emotional and mental well-being. Besides teaching them how to read confidently, they can increase their empathy and provide them with ways to build relationships. Pets give both adults and children a better life!