I recently told you about the #BetterWithPets Summit I was invited to by Purina. It was a day filled with amazing panelists, powerful information, and hands on activities. While I shared about a lot of topics we learned about, there was one panel in particular that really struck a cord with me. Panel #3 – Raising Pets and Kids was the one and I learned a lot about How Pets Contribute to Children’s Lives.
Having four kids and a dog, this panel was right up my alley. The conversation focused on “the abundant contributions pets make to the lives of children, from companionship to curriculum” and I was seriously on the verge of tears by the end. So many missed opportunities because of things I didn’t know. Now I know and can begin implementing things in our home with Mr. Cooper and our kids.
The Raising Pets and Kids Panel of the Purina #BetterWithPet Summit featured Jayne Vitale who is the program director for North Shore Animal League America, Stasha Becker who is a professional photographer with a seven year old son and husband in the Navy, Ilana Resiner who is the owner of Riser Veterinary Behavior and Consulting Services, and Charley Bednarsh who is the Director of Children’s Services, Brooklyn Family Justice Center, and the owner of a Labradoodle named Paz who is a therapy dog.
How Pets Contribute to Children’s Lives
- Pets don’t judge. Mismatched clothing, messy hair, messy room, struggling to read, trouble with math homework. All of those thing don’t matter to pets because pets are judgement free. Pets console, play, encourage, and love you for you. My son struggles with reading and it’s a task just to get him to open a book each day. During the summit it was suggested that I have James read to Mr. Cooper because he doesn’t judge. We’ve moved a dog bed into James’ room so they can read together each night and he actually looks forward to it! Seriously!
- Pets can have instincts when it comes to emotions. Especially therapy dogs as we heard during the summit from Charley Bednarsh. She and her Labradoodle Paz work with troubled families and kids. Paz has this instinct to know when a child needs consoled or when space is needed, and even has a way of calming children down so thy can talk about very troubling situations.
- Pets are always there. Stasha Becker spoke to the fact that her husband is in the Navy and they move around a lot. For her seven year old son, their dog is the one constant thing in his life when they move. House, schools, and even continents changed, but his dog is always with him.