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Mental Health Behavior Child Health Lifestyle

How can a pet help your child's mental health?

1 month ago

1090  0
Posted on Aug 31, 2022, 3 a.m.

A pet can be a child's best friend. They provide unconditional love and companionship, and they can help teach responsibility. They can also help to teach children about empathy and kindness. Studies have shown that children who grow up with pets can be more likely to develop into well-adjusted adults. Although results tend to be varied, and often argued, overall it’s agreed that pets can have a positive impact on children's mental health. But how? We take a look:

Care and empathy 

A pet can help your child develop confidence by teaching them how to care for another living creature. This involves everything from feeding and bathing to providing exercise and affection. In the process, your child will learn how to be patient, responsible, and caring. They will also learn how to deal with the ups and downs of life, such as when their pet gets sick or has an accident. As a result, a pet can give your child the calm, caring confidence they need to succeed in challenging times. 

Confidence 

A pet can be an invaluable asset for any child, providing both companionship and psychological benefits. Having a pet can promote positive social interactions, because they’re a great conversation starter and children can feel like it’s easier to make friends. 

Compared to their non-pet-owning peers, children who have pets are more likely to report higher levels of self-esteem and self-compassion too. Kids with higher self-esteem are more likely to take risks, try new things, and tend to be more resilient. They're able to bounce back from setbacks and rejection because they have a strong sense of self-worth. 

Support 

Pets can provide an important source of support for children, and they can play an invaluable role in promoting mental well-being. For children who suffer from anxiety or depression, a pet can provide comfort and a sense of security. Pets can also help to reduce stress levels. No matter what kind of day a child has had, a pet will always be there to offer a dose of affection. 

Focus 

Taking care of a pet gives kids a sense of purpose and routine, which can help to focus their energies in positive ways; playing with a pet can help children to release pent-up energy and frustration, leading to improved focus and concentration. Studies have shown that children with pets tend to have better attention spans and are less likely to be disruptive in class. Pets provide a calming presence, which can help kids to feel more settled and relaxed.

What’s more, pets can simply be fun to be around – they can provide kids with a much-needed sense of playfulness and laughter. Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows that they can be a source of endless amusement, companionship, and love. 



This article was provided by Hannah Williams on behalf of Kidadl, inspire your kids today.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine.

Content may be edited for style and length.

Materials provided by:

https://kidadl.com/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animals-and-us/201707/why-kids-pets-are-better

https://kidadl.com/facts/animals/pets-and-childhood-development-guide

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/pets-and-mental-health

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