Children Need a Petby Kathy Green • September 04, 2012
Animal lovers are a different breed themselves.
We love our animals and provide care for them in a way that those who have never had a close relationship with a pet can not understand. Indeed, they often believe that we are excessive in our spending and our affection.
As an animal lover, I believe that, short of allergies, all children should grow up with a pet of some kind. This experience provides so many positive things for both younger and older children. They have the opportunity of learning a sense of responsibility in assuming daily tasks needed to care for their pets. These jobs would grow in number and complexity as the child got older.
If the child, for some reason, can not look after their pet on a given day, they can practice their communication skills and ask someone to help out. Possibly they can trade the task and do something for that person another day. This situation can build a child's social competence and also the art of negotiating. If this happens we can sense a growing sense of ownership of the tasks on the part of the child.
Owning a pet can give a child a sense of routine. They realize that a certain task needs to be done every day at a certain time. This ensures the health and safety of the pet. Feeding the fish at 8 am each day does not give the same result as feeding the fish at 4 pm, or twice a day.
Finally, owing and acing for a pet can increase a child's sense of empathy. They hopefully feel affection for their pet and begin to feel an increased attachment to it. The child begins to observe their pet more closely, and learns to read the pet's needs from their actions and sounds. This takes the focus off the child, and helps them focus on the need's of another living thing.
Having a pet and loving it can bring a lotos joy and security into a child's life. When everyone else is grumpy or out of sorts, a pet is constant in their affection.
A lot of parents, busy with demanding jobs, concerned about a clean house, and not wanting anymore complexity in their lives (like finding a dog walker), decide that having a pet is more trouble than it is worth.
I believe that this decision should be rethought!