Do children need pets?

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Yes, children should learn how to take care of and live in harmony with animals. Life is very complex and many things that we face in life do not have simple answers, nor are other people and their complexities always easy to understand. Furthermore, knowing how and when to take the end, or to follow, is key to being successful, on many levels. But, what does all of this have to do with pets?

Children can benefit tremendously from having a relationship with an animal. Whether or not the animal should be an inside or an outside pet is a decision for the parents to make, but either way, children should have some type of connection with animals.

Animals can help children develop compassion and less of a human-centric approach to the world we share with rest of the animal kingdom. They can help children understand the importance of being responsible, by the care they will have to give the animal. Through their love for the animal, they will learn how to balance their love with the demands of having a pet, and they will, in turn, care for them in a generous way.

Having a pet will also help children develop patience. Following up behind a pet’s mess or having to find the pet is very patience-trying, but these are valuable skills for life. The children will use this patience in times when things do not go their way, or when they have to wait longer than expected for something to happen.

Non-verbal communication, comprehension and understanding are also beneficial qualities that pet ownership can cultivate in children. Clearly, the animals do not speak English, yet, over time, it becomes easier and easier to understand what their pet wants or is desires to communicate. This quality of communication and understanding will transcend into understanding colleagues, classmates or co-workers who aren’t saying what they really mean, or can’t express what is really important. The message will be clear from the gestures and expressions, a skill developed from their animal relationships…read more

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