If you have a toddler and you are thinking of getting a pet, whether it is a dog or a cat or a rabbit, then you should follow through on adopting an animal. There are so many benefits of pets for child development that you will want to know about. Your toddler is quickly absorbing everything that he or she is learning at this stage, and will be for a long time. A pet can teach your child so many wonderful things and shape him or her into a great individual.
There is Only Unconditional Love with Pets
A great thing about animals is that they love you no matter what. They are the best companions for kids or adults, especially who are dealing with grief, sadness or stress. Pets are incredibly beneficial for kids that are:
- Lonely and don’t have friends or young cousins to play with which will make them feel so alone.
- Dealing with sibling rivalry, such as an older sibling picking on the child all the time.
- A newly older sibling. A new baby will cause the older sibling become jealous since his or her parents’ attention is now shared. A pet can help relieve that for the older sibling by being there no matter what.
- Kids that are the only children, since many parents decide to not have more kids whether it is due to secondary infertility, dangerous pregnancy complications that happened with the child, or are only able to handle one child for other reasons.
Pets will always be there to comfort your toddler and be there no matter what. They can help your child develop trust. Your child and pet will end up becoming best buddies. Pets are also very therapeutic for children that are troubled, have PTSD or that have disabilities like autism.
Pets Can Prevent Toddlers Turning into Bullies
Unfortunately, many kids who become bullies and hurt their peers become that way because they never had a safe place to share how they really feel. Many times their parents never took their feelings seriously. A pet will be there for the child no matter what he or she says. When the child sees that the pet is there no matter what, that will soften him or her up in the end- and be a lot less likely to become a bully later on.
Pets Teach Kids Empathy
Since it is known that there are plenty of benefits of pets for child development, another great one is that toddlers will learn how to become compassionate and empathetic towards the needs of others. Since caring for a pet requires empathy. Toddlers will quickly learn to recognize when the pet is hungry, and parents should allow their kids to feed the pets. If the pet needs to go outside, the toddler will learn those cues from the animal. Your child will also learn to recognize if the pet is afraid of the rain, snow or is cold. This way, your child will comfort a pet that is noticeably uncomfortable.
Kids Learn Responsibility
Parents need to make sure that their kids are in charge of feeding the pet, as well as letting the pet go outside. A toddler can pour pet food into a bowl and open the door to allow the animal to go out into the backyard. This will help kids become responsible, and this is a skill that every child needs to learn in order to succeed in life. The bonus is that kids become more confident once they know they are doing a great job taking care of their pets.
Pets Can Help Kids Socialize and Improve Their Verbal Skills
Toddlers are learning to talk in full sentences, and they will talk to animals. Even though pets will never respond to them verbally, they encourage kids to chatter away regardless due to their presence. This alone will help improve their verbal, social, and cognitive skills.
Since you are now aware of the benefits of pets for child development, and if you have a toddler- this is the time to consider getting a pet. You will need to do some research about the best kind to get based on your own availability and other resources. However, definitely make this a priority because your child will be helped immensely.