Here, even children who cannot have pets of their own can reap the benefits of having pets. They get to play together;
The children often include the animals in their dramatic play activities - ensuring everyone has a role to play;
When playtime is over and it is time to relax - the pets often like to be there too;
Sometimes they enjoy being the centre of attention;
And other times they prefer to keep their distance;
Our number one rule about pets is that if they come to you then you can play with them but when they want to leave you cannot restrain them or chase them.
Respect their space.
I have found that many children who struggle with social interactions with other children have a much easier time understanding 'gentle', 'calm' and 'respectful' when interacting with animals. Pets are also wonderful at comforting children who are withdrawn, anxious or distraught.
Back in 2014 when we lost our nearly 15 year old dog Mindy there was some discussion about whether or not we should get another dog. A new pet is a big commit so it is very important to take everything into consideration and I felt the requirements for another dog were too much. Although Mindy had been a wonderful dog I am admittedly much more of a cat person.
Last month, out of the blue, my husband commented 'We should get another cat'.
The seed was planted....
The search began....
Last Sunday our new family member came home...
She's still in quarantine but soon the introductions will begin. It will be a slow process, there are many new family members for her to meet and we don't want to overwhelm her.
Soon though, it will be time to say hello...