A first pet can have a lasting impression on a child. There is a pretty good chance that you remember your first pet as a kid. Most of us do. Our first pets are special and they stick with us for a lifetime. One of the reasons why first pets have such an impression on us is because it is our first opportunity to care for something other than ourselves. This relationship can be a very special one and can teach our kids a ton of great lessons. Here are five examples for you to consider:
It can teach responsibility
A first pet certainly will make your child responsible. When you bring a first pet into the home, make sure you allow them to care for the pet right away. Make it their responsibility to help take care of the animal. Even if the child is unable to care for the pet completely, you should make at least part of the care process theirs. It will build responsibility in your child.
It can teach your child to feel for others
Compassion is a very important part of life and learning to care for a pet is a great way to do that. Pets bring out compassion in a child naturally. A first pet will pull your child’s heart strings and teach them to care for others in a very special way.
It can teach your kid to be a good friend
Friendship with a first pet is not like a best friend, but it is pretty darn close. If your child has social challenges, a pet can help with that. Piper, Bud and Jack are defiantly as close to best friends as they get!
It can teach your kid trust
When you have a living animal depending on you for their survival, trust becomes very important. You have to build a bond of trust with a pet. Kids will naturally pick up on this when they are involved in the caring for the animal. Trust is a great lesson for a kid and will be a wonderful advantage for you.
It can teach your child about loss
Kids are bound to face loss in their lives at some point. Whether it is a relative, a favorite toy or a first pet, loss is unavoidable. First pets are often the first major loss in a child’s life and it is a natural passageway we all face. It may not be something we want to see, but it is a lesson we have to teach some way. It is absolutely a must in life.
These five lessons are quite powerful and easily taught through the relationship and life of a first pet. What other lessons have your pets taught you or your children?