Child Pet

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

The relationship between animals and children is a very special one. Pets, whether a dog, cat, bird, hamster, reptile or fish, help children gain a sense of independence and duty that can set them on the path to becoming mature, responsible adults. Pets also teach children social behavior, tolerance, how to make friends, and how to be sensitive towards others. A child who learns to care for an animal and treat it kindly and patiently, gets invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way.

Walking the dog, feeding the guinea pig and talking to the parrot can serve as fun study breaks for kids, and a replacement for television programs and video games. These pet-related activities help children remain focused on the task at hand, and are less likely to become distractions that will prevent homework and chores from being completed. While all kinds of pets can bring children pleasure, it is important to choose a pet that is right for your family, your home, and your lifestyle; and one that your child can help care for.

Here are some tips for parents who want a healthy pet-children relationship in their homes:

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,