Monday, November 17, 2014

LESSONS FROM OUR PETS

by Kate Collins
 
I’ve always believed that having a pet teaches children so much about life, lessons they carry forth into their adult world that help make them better people. Here’s my list. Tell me if you agree.

1.     Compassion:  Is there any better way to teach compassion for all animals than to rescue a cat or dog or other pet from certain death or suffering? Seeing an animal who is ill or in pain stirs a deep sympathy inside us and a desire to make it all better.


What great training for parenthood, too.

2.     Grief:  I learned the pain of watching beloved cats die several times during my childhood. They taught me that grief does fade and life moves on but that loved ones are never forgotten. 

3.     Friendship: Pets are the best kind of friend. They don’t judge or criticize or belittle, qualities we always seek in others, and they’re always nearby to lend an ear when we need to blow off steam or just have a good cry.

4.     Responsibility: Being in charge of walking the dog or changing the litter box or putting food in the pet dish should be a part of every child’s day. It teache
s the child to think of others.

5.     Respect: How do  you learn that your actions hurt others? Pull a dog’s tail or rub a cat’s belly too hard.  You find out quickly that you have to respect their boundaries. Great training for marriage!

6.     Natural instincts: Is there a better way to learn what basic instincts are all about? Watch a mother dog or cat take care of their young or protect their food. Observing animals at play is also a great lesson.

That’s my list. I’m sure there are more benefits. Maybe you can think of some to add. Please feel free.
What kind of pet or breed of dog do you think is perfect for a child?