I have always been an “animal person.” When I met my wife, it was clear that she was all about animals as well. We love all kinds, with a special affinity for dogs. We have a heart for animals and their sweet spirits. More and more we are learning that many animals have a high emotional intelligence. They have feelings, they bond, they connect and they love.
My wife and I both had pets as kids and adults. There were pets in the picture before the kids came along. One of those dogs is still around. She is definitely part of the family. She has a long history with us and the kids don’t know life without her. Our Luci. It was inevitable that our kids would be animal lovers.
As we know, when our kid gets a pet, we get a pet. Most young children do not have the discipline to take care of their pet without assistance and constant reminders, even when they truly love and cherish their pets. So it’s an added chore for us as parents to keep up with daily care for an animal. But what might we get in return?
While teaching a child to care for an animal, we are teaching valuable life skills and character building. Forming bonds with something that is dependent upon you can help build emotional intelligence. Feeding, watering and keeping things warm and dry helps kids learn to be compassionate and attuned to others’ needs. Learning to be a good steward of an animal builds confidence in children and pride in being able to meet the needs of someone other than themselves. It can also help with learning to cope with losses when an animal dies. Kids learn to mourn and move on.
We have had many an animal pass through these doors. We have had lots of trial and error on taking care of four legged, scaled and finned friends. I love seeing our kids be compassionate towards animals. It’s a great building block for simply treating others as you would want to be treated, no matter how big or how small.
Tell us about your pets!