4 Life Lessons Kids Can Learn from Dogs
Photo by Amy Selleck on Flickr.com
In case you missed it, April 26th was National Kids and Pets Day. Though the official holiday has already passed, it’s never too late to celebrate the bond between the pint-sized two- and four-legged family members in our lives.
Pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige created National Kids and Pets Day to raise awareness about shelter animals and to educate parents and children about pet safety. But that’s not all. National Kids and Pets Day was also founded to recognize what fantastic teachers dogs can be for children. There’s so much we can learn from our furry companions! By listening to how our dogs communicate with us we are able to improve ourselves, and there’s no better time to start than as a child.
If you’re thinking about adding a dog to your growing family, here are a few lessons a furry addition can teach your little ones.
Self-confidence Dogs accept us with unconditional love. They’re non-judgmental and make fantastic listeners. It is for this reason that many schools and libraries have begun using dogs to help children learn how to read. Children think they’re teaching the dogs, which allows them to improve their skills without worrying about embarrassing themselves. This self-confidence carries over into reading out loud in front of classmates and family, eventually boosting a child’s self-esteem in every area of his or her life.
Responsibility Adding a pet to your family can teach your children a lot about responsibility. Sure, you could buy a goldfish or a hamster to accomplish the same goal, but dogs are easily the best at teaching kids responsibility because they are the most emotionally attached to their human packs. Keeping your dog’s water bowl filled, taking her on regular walks, and cleaning up the backyard all combine to keep her happy and satisfied. Seeing this positive feedback will encourage your children to want to do their part.
Compassion Young children are naturally self-centered because they don’t know any better. Therefore, one of the best lessons a dog can teach a child is how to be empathetic and compassionate towards another living being. Through caring for a pet, kids learn how to be gentle and understanding. These lessons can transfer into their relationships with their classmates, friends, and family members.
Patience Patience is a virtue, especially when you adopt a dog and introduce it into your home. There’s an adjustment period all new pets go through as they acclimate to their new surroundings, and your children will need to learn how to be patient throughout this process. As many of us know, training a puppy can take several months. Learning to understand this helps to teach children the importance of patience.
What lessons has your dog taught your children? Share with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!