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5 Things Animals Teach Children

Sometimes parents decide to bring an animal into the family to teach their children responsibility.  Sometimes animals just arrive on our doorsteps and we can’t find the strength to tell our kids’ pleading eyes “no”.  But animals can teach children much more than responsibility.  Here are 5 things you may not have considered!

1.  Communication – Remember when you use to talk to your imaginary friends or carry on conversations with your stuffed animals?  Children do the same thing with their pets.  Since the pet cannot talk back verbally, your child will learn to read body language which can then carry over to their human interactions as well.

2.  Empathy – Most children become concerned about their pet – how the pet is feeling, what he/she may be thinking and what effects certain actions may have on their furry friend.  This teaches your child to feel empathy and is a great foundation for their human relationships as well.

3.  Nurturing Skills – Taking care of baby dolls is all well and good for your child but there isn’t anything to show for their efforts.  With a pet, the child can see that by feeding them, serving fresh water and providing lots of love, the animal is growing and thriving.  This will give them more of an incentive to provide the right care for their pet and teach them the responsibility for it at the same time.

4.  Confidence – This goes for child and adults alike.  Children, and the rest of society, are constantly being evaluated by their peers, their teachers, being graded, etc.  Animals do not judge or hold any expectations for your child.  They simply want to be loved.  This gives your child a safe place to come home to and a welcomed friend to see at the end of the day.  Not too different from us adults, eh?

5.  Resilience to Change – We all try to protect our children from any and everything bad that could happen in life but we all know it’s just not possible.  Traumatic, scary things do and will happen to your child such as moving, changing schools, divorce, loss of a family member, etc.  Having a pet at your child’s side to offer comfort and normalcy can be just the thing to help your child cope.