We have always had animals around our children. We had both a cat and a dog when we had our first child, and added children and animals here and there. Our kids have never known life without animals. There are many benefits to raising kids around animals.
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Benefits of Raising Kids Around Animals
Whether your companion animal is a dog, cat, fish, turtle, chicken, horse, hamster, lizard, or pig, there are so many wonderful effects on kids that grow up having animals around.
A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way.
Here are some of the many benefits of animals and advantages for children when raised around animals.
Reasons it's Important to Raise Kids Around Animals
Kids are more likely to spend more time outside. When your kids are taking your family pet outside to toss the ball around or to run around. They'll be more likely to head outside without you asking, or begging, or bribing, them.
Animals provide lessons about life, including reproduction, birth, illnesses, accidents, and death. Sadly death is part of owning animals and when you have had an animal for a long time they become a part of the family. Raising and hatching chickens is a great lesson in reproduction.
Animals provide responsibility and foster leadership in kids. When your child has the sole responsibility for an animal it teaches them more than any lesson ever could.
Animals teach kids about patience and self-control. Animals never do what you want on the first try, it's a great demonstration of why we repeat lessons in our homeschool.
Animals are excellent listeners and safe recipients of secrets and private thoughts, and excellent listeners for reluctant readers.
Animals provide unexpected Biology lessons. The best example of this would be hatching out eggs from chickens you have raised from chicks. There is the whole life cycle happening right in on your homestead.
Nurturing animals is an acceptable way for kids to practice being caregivers.
Children with a companion animal in the home have higher self-esteem.
Animals teach empathy and compassion. Animals teach unconditional love
Animals reduce loneliness.
Animals have been found to be incredibly therapeutic for children. Studies have shown how pets can help lower blood pressure, speed up recovery time, and reduce stress and anxiety. This has been seen with troubled children, Autistic children, and children who experience PTSD.