A pet can teach a child almost every life skill in the book, particularly how to love unconditionally – but you’ll need to lend a helping hand.
According to Glynne Anderson, also known as the Pet Shrink, there’s no given age for a child to be pet-ready. As soon as he or she starts showing signs of responsibility, is really keen on having a little friend, and is prepared to pick up land mines, the time is right. But it’s up to mom and dad to make sure that a healthy bond forms between the child and animal. Courtesy, care and tenderness need to be part of every child’s education, and a puppy is ideal for helping him or her to learn these values.
‘Teach your child to have respect for all living things from an early age, whether it’s a puppy or a kitten, or a brother or sister. You have to serve as a role model at all times, and explain that animals feel pain and bleed just like people do. Immediately call a halt to the slightest sign of cruelty or abuse,’ says Glynne.
Text and image: Home magazine