For those of us with busy homes filled with children and pets, there’s nothing quite as fulfilling as seeing the bond between them grow over time. It’s a unique kind of joy that brings warmth and love into any household.
There are a lot of ways in which your pets can enrich your children’s lives, with a great deal of recent empirical research illustrating the psychological benefits of bonding between kids and pets.
Consider an Artistic Angle
According to Picasso, all children are artists, and it’s never hard to convince kids to take part in artistic projects.
There are so many ideas on how to do this, and the possibilities are endless. Get your kids interested to see the animal art , then they can choose to create an art project that includes either your specific pet or just animals in general. Either way, they can make something brand new to decorate your home, grow closer to their pet, and learn about animals at the same time.
Structured Playtime Tasks
It’s not easy to find time for everything. . Most of us are really busy, so scheduling can be tricky. One good way of making that little extra time is through structured playtime.
It’s great to give kids a little responsibility, and caring for their pets is a big one. It can also free up time for you, if walking the family dog becomes a task for your kids. A schedule could be introduced to define whose day it is, and so on. Walks can help strengthen the bond between your child and your pet.
The main idea here isn’t to put onerous duties on children but rather to show children what it takes to care for their pets. Children will learn how to adapt to caring roles, as well as to take overall responsibility for things around them.
Lessons from Science
When it’s taught right, kids actually love science. A deep and lasting way of bringing children and pets together can definitely be through science.
Giving your kids an understanding of how humans came to have pets, as well as other domesticated animals, can be hugely beneficial to children’s perception of themselves and the world around them.
We’re a global village nowadays, and there’s a lot of emphasis on allowing children to reach out to different cultures and ways of thinking. The same thing can also apply to your children’s bond with your pets.
Taking time to explain various cultural attitudes and views surrounding animals is a fantastic way of both adding to your children’s cultural awareness and bringing them to a closer understanding of the role of pets in various societies.
Setting Those Boundaries
Not every pet is going to be totally child-friendly. Certain breeds of dogs are not very friendly around children, and older pets also tend to be on the grumpy side.
Showing children where the boundaries are is a crucial life lesson. When you’ve got Mister Grumpy the elderly dog, you have a tailor-made example for the formation of boundaries. Children quickly learn where to draw the line when Mister Grumpy doesn’t want to play.
It’s a win-win, really. Bringing your pets and children together in a bonding way can have a wide impact on your whole family. First off, it’s a real benefit to your pet’s lives, but it really has the most effect on the lives of young people.
From the anthropological and biological side, all the way through to the cultural and social, pets play an important part in our society. They teach us to think outside of ourselves. Also, for children, pets bring that very necessary lesson of responsible behavior. Obviously, care must be taken to ensure that any play or responsibility is age-appropriate so that everyone can the maximum enjoyment and learning can be gained from the experience. These interactions are so valuable it would be a shame not to take advantage.