Hello you lovely lot and welcome back to another instalment of the #MotherhoodMondays guest post series; a weekly feature for mothers to share their stories about their incredible journeys of motherhood in all kinds of forms. Don't forget to get in touch if you want out get involved, we're always looking for some more mamas to guest post for us. This week we have the lovely Olivia who is a regular author over on Highstylife and has asked to share a unique piece of content about pets, discipline and children. So with this I shall hand you over to Olivia...
Can Pets Helps Parents With Disciplining Their Children
Being a parent is a task like no other; having the responsibility to bring up a child and turn them into a responsible, honest, wonderful human being is pretty big. While they say parenting instincts kick in the moment you give birth, truth is that can’t really be taken as rule of thumb. Some parents don’t really have parenting instincts as pronounced as others which oftentimes makes them insecure and anxious. Naturally, this doesn’t mean they’re becoming bad parents; if anything – looking for expert advice on ways to bring up a child and discipline them healthily is a responsible, loving act that shows care and devotion.
Apart from plenty conventional tips paediatric psychologists and professionals tackle into when advising on children discipline, there’s often a mentioning of getting your child a puppy or any other pet they (would) love. There’s a whole psychology behind the child-pet relationship, giving successful results and an overall quality increase of a child’s mental, emotional and social life.
Here are some insights into how a pet can guide your parent-child relationship into a healthy direction.
The effect of pets on forming family bonds and discipline
While pets are often thought of as a part the family, they’re rarely given enough appreciation for everything they do for it. One of the many benefits of having a pet is that they can help families grow stronger and closer, making their relationships more open and their methods of communication more successful.
If a parent is experiencing difficulties communicating discipline points through to their child, a dog (or any other pet) may be a perfect bridge between the two. Once a parent sets themselves as a role model and an authority figure to the pet, the child will immediately pick up and mirror the dog’s appreciation of their owner (no matter how weird this might sound). A child whose love for their pet is unconditional will want to share qualities, features and habits of their beloved animal, and if listening to the parent figure is one of them – it’s highly likely they’ll want to pick that one up, too.
In addition, a pet is often the central figure of activities that families do together. This contributes to sharing of responsibilities, overcoming communication barriers, and generally building of a more loving connection between a parent and a child.
Social, cognitive and emotional benefits
To kids who are introverts, communicating feelings may be very difficult, even with their parents. This, consequently, tends to lead to a series of parent-child relationship glitches. Anyhow, when a child has a trusted, non-judgmental friend (pet) to confide into, they are likely to break emotional and social barriers and slowly but steadily open up. Further, sharing a very tight bond with their pet will help them feel constantly loved, especially when they feel they aren’t loved enough by their parents and/or surroundings (regardless of this being their subjective opinion or an actual state of facts). Physical activities that come with owning a pet, like taking them for a walk, playing outside, etc. can be a fine bridge between your child and other pet-owners, allowing them to interact, open up and form friendships.
In situations where parents are overly concerned for their child’s well-being or pet therapy isn’t working as effectively as they’d hoped it would, it is advised they seek counsel with trusted experts like Heath Group Practice that provide help to both children and adolescents (individually) and entire families (group therapy) with a wide range of psychological issues. That way, parents are given the opportunity to get to the bottom of their child’s problem and engage in solving it/keeping it under control early on.
Teaching responsibility, for life
Children who are entrusted with a task to care for another living creature tend to form strong emphatic feelings, commitment and consistency, respect for life, and instincts of responsibility very quickly. Further, in taking care of their pet successfully, a child builds self-confidence and realizes they are a trusted, capable human. A parent’s encouragement, “along with the tail-wagging gratitude of the dog, will create a lasting feeling of self-esteem that will follow the child through life”.
Giving a child an opportunity to practice being a caregiver when they're young is the best way to instill them with a sense of purpose and responsibility, and teach them how to handle their relationships (whether they are within a family, with their parents, friends or animals).
If you’ve been experiencing hiccups forming and grounding a relationship with your child, maybe it’s time you took experts’ advice and got them a pet – it will help in development of your child’s personality and will definitely help your parent-child relationship be even stronger.
Olivia Williams Jones is psychologist from Brisbane, dedicated to making some changes in the world, starting from her own environment. Also, she is regular contributor to High Style Life blog. Olivia is a writer who is passionate about mental health, parenting, healthy living and pets. Her motto is "Be the change you want to see in the world". Thank you very much for sharing you lovely post with us Olivia and taking part in #MotherhoodMondays and don't forget those of you who enjoyed Olivia's post to share, share and share some more. You can find more posts written by Olivia over at Highstylife and I'll link her social media links below.