Are Pets Important?
Growing up with a family pet offers benefits to your children’s well-being. A pet can improve the self-esteem of your children by being the friend that never puts them down or rejects them. Pets are great listeners for your son or daughter who needs to practice their reading or spelling words. Many studies purport that having a family pet can also improve socialization skills and even improve the health of the family. As a parent you can teach values such as being responsible and time management by allowing your children to take care of a pet. Here are a few conversation starters to help you evaluate whether pet ownership is important for your family.
What are the benefits of our family having a pet?
TIP: Give your child a voice in the discussion regarding family pets. You can encourage them to be more responsible for taking care of the pets you already have or suggest that as they show responsibility in other areas, adding a family pet may become more probable. Listening to their opinions builds their self-esteem through encouragement.
Which pet do you think best fits our family and why?
TIP: Have fun with this conversation starter and let your children use their imagination. They may come up with some ideas you have never considered. Listen for the qualities they describe in the pet that best fits your family. Living with a family pet increases empathy and compassion. Listen to the reasons why a certain pet would be better for the family because they may be describing how caring they see your family to be. Remember, pet rocks do not really count.
What life lessons can we learn by taking care of a pet?
TIP: Whether or not you have a family pet, the discussion started by this question can lead to understanding the values your children want to be displayed in your family. Responsibility, time management, discipline, nurturing, friendliness, and keeping your home clean may be values that pet ownership can bring into your home.
Children who grow up with a family pet are enjoy better emotional, relational, and physical health according to many studies. As you discuss the importance of pets with your family you may find that even with your busy schedules, your pets improve the quality of life in your home when everyone takes responsibility.