Being a single mom is no easy task and the thought of getting a pet for your child or children may only sound like more responsibility added to your already overwhelming list of daily tasks. But being a single mom may actually be a good reason to consider getting your kids a pet. I was the child of a single mom and am also the single mother of two daughters. We always had pets when I was growing up and I have done the same for my girls. I truly believe the benefits and joys of having a pet far outweighs any responsibilities involved in caring for a pet.
Pets Help Fill a Void
Children of single moms feel a void that was supposed to be filled by the father’s presence. Even if the father is still involved in the child’s life, it’s just not the same as when both parents are together and involved in the child’s life full time. This void is even greater if the father is not a part of the child’s life at all. My daughters and I were both abandoned by our fathers. I personally know the void that is felt while growing up fatherless and I can also see it in my daughters. It is human nature to want to fill a void and it can be filled with good things or bad. There are many statistics about the bad things that children of single parents will turn to while trying to fill this void. This is the main reason that I believe having a pet is important for children of single moms. Children become attached and form relationships with their pets, making a pet a good, healthy part of a child’s life to help fill the void. My pets were of great importance to me as a child and added a lot to the quality of my life when I was growing up. My daughters become very attached to every pet they have and treat them like part of the family. Of course, a pet cannot completely fill the void, and there should also be other good, healthy things in a child’s life to prevent them from filling it with bad.
Pets Offer Companionship and Affection
The companionship and affection there is between children and their pets is another good reason for single moms to consider letting their kids have pets. Anyone who’s ever seen a child playing with their dog or cuddling their cat knows that kids love having a pet to hang out with. Most pets become pretty attached to their owners too, loving to give and receive affection. This good, healthy interaction between a child and their pet benefits the child’s emotional well being. As a child, I remember all the fun I had playing with my pets, how affectionate each one was, and the comfort their presence offered me when we would just hang out or cuddle. Now, as a parent, I love watching one of my daughters laughing while playing with a pet or simply enjoying cuddling and petting one. I know how good it was for me to have pets as a child of a single mom and it’s easy for me to see the benefits that having pets has brought my daughters.
Choosing a Pet
If you decide that getting a pet for your kids is a good idea, think about what kind of pet would be best for your household. How much room do you have? Does anyone in your household have any pet allergies? How much time will be available to care for the pet? Do you want a pet that lives in a cage? How much do you want to spend on a pet? How old is your child or children and will they be able to care for the pet or will they need your help? Do you have experience caring for certain kinds of pets? Taking all of these into consideration will help you choose a pet for your kids.
If you decide to get a cat or dog, please consider your local animal shelter as a place to acquire your pet. If you are interested in a easy to care for, caged pet, I recommend a teddy bear or black bear hamster and have links to several articles on hamsters listed below. If your child has pet allergies and you would still like to get a pet, I have a link to my article on finding pets for kids with allergies also listed below.
Blackbear Hamsters: The Perfect Pet
How to Take Care of a Hamster
How to Tame a Hamster
Best Pet Bedding for Hamsters and Guinea Pigs
Hamster Mites: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
Finding Pets for Kids with Allergies