7 reasons why raising your kids with a pet is the best thing EVER
Poor little Shandy-Pip thought he was a cat (he was a dog) and tried to climb trees.
Muffins met a sad fate one cold morning in her hutch and my budgie (Nigel) succumbed to animal dementia.
Although I didn't have much luck with my furry (and feathered) friends over the years - I loved keeping pets and I can't wait to introduce some into Casa Cassidy some day soon.
1.Science says so
A recent study on child-animal relationships found that interacting with animals led young children to better understand biology than their pet-less counterparts.
2. A best friend
Another study in Sweden found that kids who turned to their pets for emotional support were less anxious and withdrawn than those who didn't.
3. A problem shared
Child psychologist Dr Mellon from the US carried out a study on children who lived with pets in the house. She found that those who lived with pets scored higher on measurements of empathy.
4. Animal-human interaction
Research carried out by the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development found that animal-related activities, like horse riding, helped young people (teens) feel like they were contributing to society in a more meaningful way. Great excuse to get your tween a pony. Ha.
5. Feeling a connection to nature
The same study found that the higher the level of attachment between teenagers and animals, the higher they scored on measurements of emotional connectedness in general, which is not too surprising.
We all know that allowing your child to pick up after their pet is a great way to instil the first steps of responsibility. I remember the burden of knowing that I had to bring the dog for a walk or I had to feed Muffins (before his hutch became his hay-filled coffin) It is a good lesson in taking charge of another little life.
7. Lifelong learning
Children and young adults can learn about healthy relationships from their experiences interacting with non-human animals. The author of one study of teens and pet interactions, Dr Mellon says: "If a connection exists between the skill sets required for these relationships, then it might be useful to capitalise on animal relationships as a way to promote the development of social skills"
So if this photos alone don't convince you - nothing will.
Now I'm off to print off this list to convince my husband tonight. Then, next stop the animal shelter!