Having a family pet can add such a positive, joyful dimension to a child’s life!
Pets and children share a special bond. Pets and their kids appear to communicate at a deep, nonverbal level of awareness. When a child is feeling sad, lonely or frustrated, the family cat or dog can bring comfort with a look, a lick, or just their presence.
I believe pets can actually help overcome challenges in communicating with children. You can almost always get a conversation going with even the shyest child about their favorite animal. When a child is having difficulty discussing a tough or uncomfortable topic, allowing the child to look at and stroke their pet instead of looking directly at an adult, removes some of the tension the child may be feeling.
Pets teach children the true meaning of unconditional love. They model forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance.
Family pets are capable of creating an atmosphere of fun and laughter, entertaining both adults and children with their antics. Babies and younger children often burst into giggles at the sight of an animal. Sometimes one of the first words a baby gleefully utters is “doggy” or “kitty”.
Interacting with a pet can improve communication, and add a nonverbal element of comfort and joy to a child’s life.
Article written by Ethel K Coffey