It doesn’t have to be a giant dog or a cat, but having an animal when you have children is SO important. You should think about it.
When I was young I used to own dogs. I would say I had had 26 dogs during my childhood (well in fact my dogs had puppies to I add them all to get to 26!). In reality I only had 4 of them. Each and everyone of them being my animal best friend at the time. Our Golden Retriever died from old-age just two days after I welcomed my second child into this world. I’ve always felt like my dog waited until my daughter was born to say its good-bye.
Moving Into Adulthood
Once I left my parents house I got a cat. Never had one before. I always thought they were independent and boring. But going to college and getting an apartment was easier to do with a cat than a dog. And also, I never mentioned it, but I felt less alone knowing there would be someone waiting for me at the end of the day and listening to me no matter what. I didn’t last long since I started going out with my future husband and we moved in together with Doubert (nickname my daughter later gave to my cat; real name being Albert!).
Cats Can be Fun Too, Really
Doubert was kind of fun! He was always around and ready to play. It was kind of nice having him around. And so, just like this, I developed affection for a cat. Me the dog’s person, I was into cats too! Then our first daughter was born and her and Doubert were BFF (best friends forever). And our second daughter came into this world. And she was best friend with the cat too. He had his share of temper but he loved the girls. Always slept by their bedroom’s doors. He was not allowed to go outside but from time to time we were strolling him with the girls in a chariot-type stroller.
Animal And Child Relationships
There are a lot of reasons why an animal is important in a child’s life. Notwithstanding the fact that it is cute and fluffy, having an animal brings happiness and caring into a household. Your child is aware, most of the time, about what cares an animal needs: being loved, being fed, getting fresh water, getting his litter box cleaned or poop picked up etc.
In my house, my children want to participate in the cat’s care. They feed it, brush it and come to the vet’s appointment. They cuddle it when they are happy or sad, when they feel anxious or frightened.
Kids Go Through A Lot
Being a child is not as easy at it seems. Relationships are hard sometimes: with their siblings, with their parents, with their friends. It is not always easy to confide about was you are going through. Mixed emotions, mixed feelings, being teased, being sad or frightened are not necessarily things you want to talk your parents or friends about. Not every child has a psychologist to talk to. An animal can have, and often has, this function.
Animals Are Good And Non-Judgemental Friends
Everyone needs someone to talk to. Someone loyal, friendly who listens all you have to say. It is so difficult to find your place in this world and having someone you can count on, that will never deceive
you or undermine your trust. Kids can be mean towards one another. Being a kid can be stressful. Children may live with divorced parents, feel alone, being teased at school. Being able to cuddle a cat, a dog, a hamster, a bird is priceless and can relieve many psychological burden. Being able to talk to those little living creatures is good for the moral and for the soul.
Being Asperger’s And Living With A Cat
Some time ago, I wrote an article about one of my Asperger’s daughter favorite book about cats being Asperger’s. Since she is little, my daughter has a special connection with our cats. First it was Doubert when she was younger, now it is with Lily, our Calico kitten. She has always told us she understands animals, mostly her cat. She says they read each other feelings and thoughts. She spend a whole lots of time together. Each time she feels anxious, mad, sad, overjoyed or lonely she goes to Lily. When her sensory inputs are too difficult to handle, she cuddles her cat and talks to her.
One Of A Kind Relationship
I really think that life would not be the same for her without her best animal friend. I am thankful
everyday for the relationship my daughter have developed with her pet. This way she doesn’t have to tell us what she doesn’t want to (mostly because she has some difficulties naming and making a distinction her emotions).
It also helps that Lily is the perfect family pet: lovely, curious, affectionate, loving, and also the perfect road trip companion (we bring her with us everywhere we can when traveling and she loves it!).
Having An Anxiety Disorder And Having A Dog
We cannot have a dog at home. My youngest is allergic to dog’s saliva and skin. So it is kind of a deal-breaker for us. A lots of our acquaintance do own dogs which means we mostly avoid going there to avoid as much contact with dogs as possible.
Lately one of our friend brought his dog over. Being outside helps for the saliva and skin situation. My little boy, who is afraid of most alive creatures, fell in love with the dog. He was not afraid at all. Nothing. He fell comfortable with the animal. We even came down the stairs two times to kiss the dog goodnight.
“Mommy, no story tonight, I want to dream about the dog”
My heart melt. I had never seen my son this happy, this calm and this confident. I can tell you, once again, that being with an animal is really benificial for kids in general. My son found a new best friend that night. I have never seen my so in love with an animal. He loves his cat, but the connection he had with the dog was deep and real. If my daughter was not allergic, I would have certainly opted for a new addition to our family. I will have to think about the possible options.
One thing is sure, the saying says a dog is a man’s best friend and I totally agree!