Parents are always eager to find new ways to ensure that their children become well-behaved adults. New research shows that one of the best ways to contribute to a child’s conduct and social skills is by raising them in a house with dogs!
Science Says Raising Dogs Helps Raise Good Humans
The recent study was released by the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute. It made several very exciting findings regarding children who grow up around dogs. First, it showed that kids aged 2 through 5 who had dogs “had a reduced likelihood of conduct and peer problems, as well as increased pro-social behaviors such as sharing and cooperating.” This is great news for parents and teachers!
“We’re increasingly learning that pet ownership within families can have fantastic benefits for children’s physical and social development,” researcher Hayley Christian said in a Telethon Kids release. “Our previous research showed that pets can be particularly helpful for school-aged children, but this latest research shows the benefits begin even sooner – right from early childhood.”
The More Interaction, The Better the Outcomes
One of the most interesting and exciting findings of this research is the correlation between the children’s interaction and responsibility with the dog and the positive outcomes. Those children who played with and walked their dogs more frequently than others had more positive social and behavioral implications.
Kids who walked the family dog at least once per week and actively played with the family dog at least 3 times per week saw positive social improvements and a reduction in challenging behaviors. “Given how important physical activity is to a child’s health and social and emotional development, we really need to make the most of any opportunity to get kids moving,” Christian said. “Our research suggests family down ownership could be a valuable strategy in achieving this.”
Dog’s Role in the Family is Even More Important than Realized
We all know that our dogs are family members. We cannot imagine our family without them. But now we know that dogs are helping us raise better adults! Parents know the struggle is real when it comes to teaching social skills and battling challenging behaviors. Families can enlist the support of their furry family members in helping raise their kids right!
Turns out play sessions with the pup may be just as important as play sessions with other humans in helping kids develop healthy social behaviors that will stay with them into adulthood. Get out your chore charts Mom and Dad. Add puppy play sessions and dog walks to the list! Your dogs will love it and your kids will be better for it!
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