Another Reason to Adopt a Pet If You Only Have One Child
If you have only one child, getting a pet might be better than making more children to keep your child company.
Starting a family is awesome! It's great to settle down and have children. But sometimes you can't have more than one child. Financial responsibilities can constrain how many mouths you can feed. Or you might just not want more than one child, which is perfectly fine! However, researchers found that children who grow up without siblings aren't as socially active when they're adults compared with children who have brothers and sisters.
When a child grows up with brothers and sisters, he's taught many social values and has more social interactions. He learns more socially and emotionally by having good and bad interactions around the clock with his similar-aged brothers and sisters. Some research shows that children who grow up without siblings are less able to negotiate peer relationships and may even be more likely to be bullied or be a bully.
But lots of research conflict the negative evidence concerning children without siblings. For example, children without siblings have more tolerance for being alone and may be less needy. They're also more cultured and more picky about the clubs, activities, and groups they join – choosing intellectual and meaningful activities. But children with siblings are less socially sensitive and don't mind joining many clubs and organizations and interacting with many people. That means children without siblings prefer quality social interaction, whereas children with siblings interact without prejudice.
The truth is, it depends on how your child is. If your child is relatively happy, then he'll be more sociable than children with siblings. If you're worried your child isn't getting enough social interaction, there's good news – you can adopt a pet! Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that a child's relationship with his pet is more meaningful and satisfying than his relationship with a brother or sister.
These researchers studied 12-year old children from 77 families and found that those with pets, especially dogs, all had stronger relationships with their pets than with their brothers or sisters. It's even better if your child is a girl because the researchers found that girls get more out of relationships with pets than boys.
It's not just children either! Pets can also help adults in holistic ways. Studies show that adults with dogs have better heart health and less anxiety and stress. Not only that, pets are very therapeutic and can help with addiction recovery.
Pets are great for children and adults – bestowing health benefits to both. If you're planning on getting a dog for you and your child, make sure to adopt one. There are many hungry and lonely stray dogs in America and adopting a loving dog is better than supporting a puppy mill that churns out puppies for profit. Getting a pet for your child also teaches him or her early responsibility.