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Ten Reasons Why Growing Up With Pets Is Good For Kids

Ten Reasons Why Growing Up With Pets Is Good For Kids

Kids love the idea of owning pets, and they don’t mind having lots of them. But the truth is that most parents don’t understand children’s attraction to pets. Kids know that they can never have a part unless their parents approve it and so they keep talking about their desire, hoping that dad and mom would grant their request someday.

If you are at this point with your kids and you are not sure about accepting the idea of housing pets because of the stress involved, we are with you in this. We want you to look beyond the time and efforts needed for caring for pets, and focus on the reasons why growing up with pets is good for your kids.

1. It teaches them responsibility

Kids with pets have to take care of the animals the best way they can. They would most likely be responsible for cleaning the pet’s house depending on their age. And they would also make sure that the pet is properly fed and never lacks drinking water.

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For example, kids that have dogs like boxers would have to do the necessary research to know the best dog food for boxers because such breeds would not eat just any type of dog food. All these activities teach kids to take up responsibility. And after an extended period of living with pets, they would have mastered the act of being responsible.

2. It builds their self-confidence

To kids, their pets are like humans. So, they try to relate with the pet as they would with their age mates. They talk to the animals, play with them, cuddle with them and even get angry with them. All these displays of their innermost feelings to their pets without the fear of being judged would play a significant role in boosting their self-confidence.

3. It teaches the act of sharing

One of the ways by which kids bond with their pets is by sharing things with them. Kids share food, drink, thought, and ideas with their pets. They look for those special moments of giving things to their pets. And the plus side is that the pets never have to ask for it. So, kids learn to share things with other people based on their discretion.

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4. It helps to form healthy habits

Children with pets would have the opportunity to move around the neighborhood often. For example, kids with dogs would have to take them for walks, and in the process, they run also. Running and walking would keep a child physically fit, and they would never forget the habits when they’re older.

Another instance is the food for dogs. In the US, dog owners are encouraged to give dogs all natural pet treats to keep them healthy. Of course, kids who have dogs that always snack on healthy treats would be curious to know why healthy eating is important. And once the children know the value of healthy foods, they would incorporate it into their lifestyle too.

5. It improves health

According to research, kids with pets are super healthy. They have a high-resistant immune system that wards off diseases naturally. So, their health improves, and they hardly have hospital visits except on rare occasion.

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6. It boosts love between siblings

One of the primary purposes of having pets is because they are good playmates. And with kids, they get to play more. So, siblings that have pets would usually want to play with it. And since just one person cannot claim possession of the pets, the siblings would learn to play together and stay happy. Siblings with pets have something that would distract them from constant fighting and arguments which children engage in often.

7. It reduces the risk of developing asthma

According to research, kids with pets are not likely to develop asthma. No one is sure about how this works yet, but speculations say that constant exposure to animal furs strengthens the lungs of kids and keeps the air passage cleared.

8. It improves reading skills

Little kids that are just learning to read often dislike the constant correction from adults whenever they are reading. And because of that, they could stop putting much effort in learning how to read perfectly. However, it is a different scenario for kids that have pets. In their pets, they would find the suitable reading buddy; a great listener that would not correct them when they make mistakes. As such, they would read out loud to their pets without feeling ashamed. And when they are consistent with it, they get better at reading.

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9. It reduces loneliness

Pets are great companions for kids. They play together and share meal times. In addition to that, children talk to their pets, and they have the imagination that they are talked back to. And this makes kids with pets feel less lonely. Since they know that they have a constant friend in their pet, as they would never get bored of playing with them. Such kid would rarely feel lonely.

10. It curbs anxiety

Kids have stress challenges too. Sometimes, they are stressed in school. And the anxiety may also occur due to a lack of quality sleep. However, kids get to talk to their pets concerning the anxiety and what they think is responsible for the way they are feeling. Children unburden to their pets and thus, feeling better within a short while.

Featured photo credit: Leah Kelley via pexels.com

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Zuhair Sharif

Digital Marketer

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Published on September 21, 2018

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

Becoming a mother is one of the most difficult challenges a woman can take on in her life. Whether this happens the “natural” way, with the help of science, or through adoption, being in charge of nurturing another human being is a herculean task to take on.

Typically, when we think about parenthood, we imagine two parents sharing the responsibility and having each other to lean on. However, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 are being raised by a single mother.[1] This is a significant portion of the population that often gets overlooked.

If you are one of these mothers raising your children on your own, you are undoubtedly aware of the additional challenges that motherhood has placed upon you, including the constant struggle to find sufficient time, energy, money, and support.

For single mothers who find themselves bogged down by their daily responsibilities and struggle to stay afloat, don’t be fooled by the belief that you have to do all. It is possible to thrive and live as a single mother if you take advantage of all available resources and adjust your priorities based on your situation.

1. Find your community and ask for help

As the sole caretaker of your kids, going through the successes and struggles of parenthood can feel isolating and lonely. You have probably developed a strong sense of independence because you’ve had to go at it alone.

Being self-reliant is necessary in many situations that you have to face, but do not fool yourself into thinking that you don’t need support from others. If you have family nearby, strengthen your relationship with them by visiting and talking more often. Find time to catch up with old friends or co-workers, and don’t assume they don’t want to hang out if they are not parents themselves.

Would you prefer finding mom friends[2] who have more in common with you? Use resources like apps, Facebook groups, and community events to meet local moms in your area.

After you have established a support group that you can depend on, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness or incompetency to admit you can’t do it all, and others are probably more willing to lend a hand than you think.

If you feel uncomfortable burdening others, suggest trading favors such as taking turns babysitting. Because after all, helping is each other is what community is all about.

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2. Make peace with the past

Before you can move forward, you must make peace with your past and not let it define you or rule your life. Whether your journey to single motherhood was through divorce, death, or never having a relationship the father, it is crucial that you leave behind the feelings of abandonment or betrayal you may be struggling with.

You cannot change the past and the hurt you had to endure, but you can use the strength that you gained from overcoming those obstacles to work towards making the best life for yourself and your child. Learn from the past but live in the present and look towards the future.

3. Make plans and set goals

The daily repetition of trying to balance work and home life can make you feel like you are on operating on autopilot. However, it is imperative to set goals for yourself and to keep working towards self-improvement.

In your personal life, you can set a fitness goal (train for a 5k), a reading goal (read 20 books in a year), or a travel goal (take a trip to Europe). At your job, you can set career goals such as gain leadership experience, get a promotion, or earn a degree or certificate.

Spend time creating a realistic plan to on how you can go about achieving these goals. Not only will working towards these goals make you a more well-rounded and successful person, they will bring more purpose and fulfillment to your life.

4. Look for role models

A great way to jump start your plans for the future is to find a role model or mentor who is further along in their life or career experience. This person can be a great resource when you need guidance on what types of goals to set for yourself and how to achieve them.

It’s also important to have people to turn to for encouragement during difficult seasons of life. Someone who has been through it before can provide the most genuine reassurance that tough times will get better and that staying positive is best approach.

5. Rethink your priorities

Single parents have twice as many responsibilities to take care of, so priorities and expectations must be adjusted accordingly.

Know that you are not superwoman and striving for a perfectly clean home, no dirty laundry, and home-cooked meals for your kids every day is not a reasonable expectation. It’s okay to take shortcuts sometimes, like serving your kids cereal for dinner or waiting until the next day to wash the dishes.

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Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and let go of the guilt that you feel for being the only parent that your kids can count on. Give yourself a break and don’t sweat the small stuff.

6. Make time for me time

Even though it can be difficult to find, making time for yourself is critical to maintaining your sanity and well-being. Without a built-in partner to take over, finding time to be away from the kids must be done intentionally and planned in advance.

If you are sharing custody, use the time away from your kids not only doing productive things but also making sure you are taking care of yourself. Sleep, exercise, and balanced diet are not things that can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Also make time for fun activities, such as hobbies and creative outlets.

Even though being a mother is the most important job you have, don’t let it be the only thing that defines you. Time for yourself is more difficult to find if you are the sole caretaker of your kids.

Use the resources that you have to devote time to self-care, and you and your kids will thank you for it in the long run.

7. Stay organized

With so many things to juggle, great organizational skills are an absolute must in order to keep everything moving smoothly. Use apps such as Mint for your finances, Mealime for meal planning, and Cozi as a family organizer for everything from appointments and shopping lists to after school activities.

Maintain constant contact if you are sharing custody so that it is clearly communicated who will be responsible for what when it comes to your kids. Follow consistent routines in the morning and nighttime so that your kids also know what to expect on a daily basis.

8. Be flexible (Don’t be a control freak)

Although it is important to be prepared and stay organized, things don’t always go according to plan.

When kids get sick and have to stay home or babysitters cancel at the last minute, allow for flexibility by having a contingency plan for childcare and with your employer.

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For example, make a list of people you can call when you need last minute childcare, or talk to your boss in advance about working from home when emergencies come up.

Most of all, don’t let unexpected changes stress you out and ruin your day.

9. Learn to say no (Don’t feel guilty)

Single mothers have limitations in time, energy and resources that families with two parents wouldn’t be able to understand. Because of these circumstances, it’s important you let go of feelings of guilt and stop trying to do everything and be everywhere.

You don’t have to say yes to every single birthday party your child is invited to. Your kids don’t have to be involved in sports and extracurricular activities every night of the week.

Limit the things you do to only the ones that are the most enjoyable and meaningful for you and your family. Doing more things does not make you a better mother; simply a more tired one.

10. Live within your means

When you have to raise your family on a single income, budgeting and spending within your means becomes more important than ever.

If you have outstanding debt that is accruing interest, make it a priority to pay those off as soon as possible. Outlining a budget is the best way to visualize how much money is being spent every month on various things and what is left over.

Find ways to save money on the necessities by looking for sales at the grocery store, buying some things secondhand, planning out meals.

After the necessary bills are paid, determine how much can be spent on luxury items such as eating out, vacations, and going to the movies.

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Don’t let finances be a source of anxiety for you and your family. Keep your bank account in good shape while teaching your kids how to spend money responsibly at the same time.

11. Spend quality time with your kids

The time you spend with your kids is so precious and much more limited as a single mother. Make the time that you spend with your kids count.

Rather than sitting in front of the TV, take them on fun and budget-friendly outings to the park, the playground, or a museum. Use meal times as the perfect excuse to ask them about what they are learning in school and the friends they spend time with.

When your kids ask you to play with them, look at it as a privilege and an opportunity to bond with them, rather than a distraction or waste of time. Be present when you are with them, with no work or multitasking on your mind. Your relationship with your kids will absolutely reap the benefits.

Final thoughts

Being a single mother is not an easy job. That’s why it’s important to use all the resources available to you in order to make this job a little bit easier.

Using technology, an organization system and a supportive community are just a few examples of things you should utilize to your benefit. It’s also important to shift your mindset and be more practical when it comes to things like priorities and finances.

Most of all, don’t forget about your own self care. Only when you take care of yourself can you best take care of the people you love.

Single mothers are some of the most hard-working people out there, and you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

Reference

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