4 Great Ways Pets Help Kids be Amazing

My grandfather was one of those old school tough guys. Living through WWII and growing up on a farm in northern Utah, one of his daily chores was to milk the many cows that lived on their farm. Every morning before the sun came up-with no exceptions-he stumbled out to the barn and milked the cows, fed the horses and other animals, and all before breakfast. And he was only 7 years old!

Now, most of us don’t live on farms, and our only experience with milking cows is at the state fair when we pinch our noses walking by the livestock barns. But there are ways we can teach our children the same lessons my grandfather learned every day as he religiously sat on that old wooden milking stool.

Get your kids a pet. But wait, you say, there is no way they will be responsible for it and I will end up ‘owning’ the pet and everything that comes with. That might be the case, and I have definately cleaned out my fair share of hamster cages. Over the years we have owned cats, hamsters, fish and dogs, and I can see the responsibility that has grown in the kids. Currently we have an adorable golden retriever we call Koda and if you ask me ‘Are they always excited to walk Koda?’, or ‘Do they always clean up after him?’ the honest answer is a big NO. ┬áBut have they learned from having him in our home? YES.

4 Ways Pets Help our Kids be Good Human Beings

  1. Pets help kids get outside themselves and be responsible for the life of another living creature. They learn that if they don’t take care of the pet by feeding and caring for them the pet could die–that’s a huge lesson to teach to a kiddo. They develop empathy, which we all want our kids to have, right?
  2. Pets teach kids to sacrifice their time to care for them. Give them as much responsibility as they are old enough to manage, and show them that their pet relies on them to step it up.
  3. Pets teach kids about love. Really that’s why we get pets, and when they can give and receive love from a pet it helps them in their relationships with other.
  4. Pets are electronic-free fun! Running through the back yard with the dog, playing with your hamster, or even curling up on the couch with your cat can teach kids about good old vintage fun–no electronics needed.

Enjoy your time with pets. They will mess up your house, make it harder to go on vacations, and make you crazy, but in the end you won’t know how your family ever lived without them.

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