Benefits of Animals around Children
Almost all of us love pets, in fact, animals, in general, are a favorite with adults as well as children. Once children know how to love and respect animals, teaching them respect for others and the environment becomes easier.
The benefits and advantages of being around animals are many, here are a few of them:
Friendship- Children need companionship, and if they have a pet around they can be a great friend
to the child. They play together, share mealtimes, and even go to bed together, sometimes
snuggling up on the same bed. Children also talk to animals the way they don’t (can’t) talk to
people. They have a constant companion with them all the time and rarely get lonely.
Social and Emotional wellbeing- Animals are not always what we want them to be, they show
different sides to them which we may not be prepared for. Learning to handle these teaches a
child-patience and self-control. Children learn how to be soft yet firm, careful and considerate and
learn that being patient can have a better effect than hitting, yelling, or throwing a tantrum. Bonding
with animals helps children develop close relationships, they learn to understand feelings,
compassion and empathy.
Therapeutic- Animals have been found to be incredibly effective in helping children cope with
anxiety and stress. The presence of an animal around provides children with a sense of
responsibility and fosters leadership. Pets are extremely calming and a great source of joy for all
children, more so in the cases of troubled children or children with special needs.
Sense of Responsibility- Once a toddler is old enough to walk around and communicate they are old
enough to start contributing to taking care of the pet. They can refill the water bowl, or brush their
coat. They also learn to share their toys, space, treats and parental attention and time especially if
the child does not have a sibling. Children imbibe kindness and will share without being asked or
told to do so.
Lessons on life- Animals provide lessons on life children learn that other beings have needs as
well, birth, death, stages and phases of life and the different emotions attached to each phase, all
become easier for a child to understand when they learn it through the presence of animals.
Animals should be a part of children’s lives. It’s a good thing because there are some truly amazing
benefits as we have seen. Animals large or small love, teach, delight and offer a special
companionship. The earlier they start interacting with animals the more they will learn to love,
respect and be kind to animals.
Having children and animals as friends around the house will be a constant source of smiles,
laughter and stories that will brighten up each day!!!!