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While not all kids will grow up to be avid animal lovers, a child asking for a pet from their parents is not a rare occurrence. Whether it is a rabbit, a cat, a guinea pig or a dog your kid is asking for, there are certainly benefits to pet ownership.
Here are a few of them:
1. Having a pet could teach kids about responsibility.
Pet ownership is not always about the cuteness and cuddles. Pets need attention too: they need to be fed, they need to be groomed, and they need to be cleaned up after. As some would put it, they see their pet as a “baby” or younger sibling in need of care and attention. The tasks that come with owning a pet could be a good start for kids to develop their sense of responsibility, which would be helpful to them as they grow and mature.
2. Having a pet could lengthen a kid’s patience in more ways than one.
Pets can sometimes be rowdy, noisy, or untidy. Throughout a pet’s life, there will definitely be instances when these furry (or not so furry) little friends can get on your kid’s nerves. This is perfectly normal and more importantly, it’s part of growing up. Having a pet is a good way to teach kids that during stressful or challenging times, it pays to have patience.
3. Having a pet could help kids become more considerate, understanding, and loving.
While Psychology suggests that self-centeredness is normal in kids especially during the early stages of their childhood, it wouldn’t hurt to teach them early on to be more considerate, understanding, and loving. Kids will learn to consider another being’s needs and even feelings. This sensitivity and concern for others, when translated into other aspects of their life, will accelerate their maturity.
4. Having a pet can be a good start in instilling the value of commitment.
Most “I want a pet” stories start with kids finding a dog, a cat or any other animal cute. And when a pet is finally brought home, it will not take long for kids to realize that owning a pet goes beyond their pet’s cute cuddly faces or play time. This realization will help them understand commitment- staying true to their word and fulfilling their responsibilities as pet owners, even when it’s no longer fun to do so.
Perhaps the most important thing to owning a pet is the heartbreak kids will have to face when it’s time for their beloved companion to go. But think about it- that in itself is a valuable lesson to learn too.
About the Author:
Maddie is a 20-something millennial multi-hyphenate who’s trying to make it in Manila.
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