We learn many life lessons from the interactions we have during our childhood, they’re never explicitly taught to us and yet we pick them up subconsciously through our interactions. Owning a pet can help to teach many of these life lessons and can be a very rewarding experience for a child of any age. Here are 5 lessons that owning a pet could help to teach your children.
Owning a pet can teach responsibility
Whether you own a rabbit, a cat, a dog or a horse, a pet comes with responsibilities which your child will learn that they are needed to care for. Cleaning out a rabbit hutch, taking the dog for a walk or grooming a horse are activities which must be done routinely for long after the novelty wears off. Children who have a pet and learn to be responsible for their needs can then apply this later in life to other things that may require responsibility. Even very young children can learn responsibility from their pet by making on of their daily tasks a part of their daily routine such as feeding the cat in the morning.
Owning a pet can teach selflessness
Owning a pet will help your child understand that they, as the owner, are directly responsible for the needs of their animal and sometimes this will mean doing things they don’t want to do for the benefit of their pet. Whether it be going out for a walk in the rain, dealing with smelly manure or cleaning up after potty training accidents, owning a pet can help to teach selflessness.
Owning a pet can teach discipline
When you bring a new pet into your house you may need to teach it discipline and this is a great opportunity for your child to become a teacher and see why discipline is so important. By seeing the value in training their pet and how this helps to keep them safe they will better understand the need for discipline in their own lives. Training a pet can be very rewarding and so try to incorporate your child into the process where possible.
Owning a pet can teach the value of friendship
Getting a pet for your little one is providing them with a friend. Pets make great companions and provide comfort and security to many children as they learn to deal with their emotions and feelings. Pets have been used for many years as a way to help children who are particularly anxious or stressed and can help them feel braver in difficult situations.
Owning a pet can teach the importance of a healthy lifestyle
Whether it be playing out in the garden with their rabbit, walking the dog or riding their pony, owning a pet can help your children to see the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by getting them outdoors and running around. Certain pets can be better encouragers of exercise than others, dogs, in particular, require regular walks and pony’s need exercising but all pets require proper nutrition and care and simply providing this will help children to understand the importance of it in their own lives.