By Deb Young
Having a pet is usually a rite of childhood. Children enjoy the companionship offered by animals.
But did you know, that not only can pets be a source of warm, fuzzy entertainment, but they can offer several developmental benefits to children as well? A child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development can all be encouraged by interaction with the family pet. For children especially, pets can be wonderful social facilitators: children are more prone to approach and interact with another child who is playing with a pet.
In this way, a pet can be the bridge between a less socially outgoing child and other potential playmates.
When children grow up with pets in homes they have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma.
Childhood pets offer security and stability. Nearly 70% of children confide in their pets, confident their secrets will not be betrayed.
Because of the special bond that often develops between pet and child, pets can sometimes fill the role of comforter. Since the relationship is non-judgmental from the pet’s perspective, a hurting child might be more willing to initially trust a pet than a person. Click to continue »