Growing up with dogs: The benefits for kids
While parents know that physical health is essential for their kids, mental and emotional development are sometimes overlooked. Pets can play this important role — so here are a few benefits for kids growing up with dogs.
Empathy and nurturing
It’s one thing for parents to teach kids to play nice and get along, but how can they really learn it? One way could be caring for a pet. Our furry friends are dependent on us for their basic needs. Letting kids feed, walk, give medicine (if age-appropriate) teaches them about understanding the needs of others and contributing to their well-being.
Sense of responsibility
Part of our role as parents is to give our kids the skills to become independent, productive adults. We do that by teaching them a sense of responsibility. Sure, we can give them chores like cleaning their room, taking out the garbage and yard work (all important) but can have a limited effect. If the room stays messy for another day, there is no dire consequence to that.
Forget to feed your pet for a day? That can negatively impact its health. Developing a sense of responsibility as kids can teach them the importance of meeting their obligations impact themselves and others.
Human beings are social creatures. We were not meant to live in isolation. Unfortunately, for many people, it’s not easy to make friends. This can be especially painful for kids who are shy or suffer from social anxiety that prevents them from being able to bond with others which can have far-reaching effects into adulthood. Having a pet that kids can play with or talk to can help manage emotions like fear and anger.
Lots of love
Unlike people, dogs don’t judge. They don’t call you names or socially isolate you. Pets just want your love, and when they get it, they give it back unconditionally. Kids and dogs go hand in paw.
Growing up and learning to navigate life has never been easy, and today parents are experiencing even greater challenges in raising happy and healthy kids. While kids may simply see that having a pet is fun, there are many meaningful benefits to having one.