Friday, 31 July 2020 14:54

Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin, ACHT, ACSW and President and CEO of Parents Anonymous, Inc. will join Jon and Talkin' Pets on 8/01/20 at 5pm ET to discuss the benefit of pets & kids during Covid-19 Featured

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The Benefits of Pets for Kids During COVID-19 

Many children are experiencing a lot of fear because of the pandemic which turns into various forms of anxiety and sadness.  Parents need to tune in to each child and create a loving and nurturing environment in these uncertain times. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and continuously tell them you are there for them is key to supporting well-being and social development.

As humans we all need to feel socially connected.  Creating special family and friend times over the computer, distance activities in the park, and engaging in art projects to express love and support to others supports human connections.  Long term we are uncertain have children will feel and each one is unique.  Emphasizing resiliency is key to our mental health.

In caring and loving a pet, all family members thrive and feel better through this personal connection: unconditional love.  Even teaching children how to care for an animal, creates an emotional connection and enhances our purpose to give to others.

Children and Youth of all ages are impacted by fear and loss of human interaction.  Older children have increased cognitive abilities to understand feelings but may feel more isolated and hesitant to share with their parents or an older sibling because they are worried about being judged. Supporting all children to express their feelings is the key with love and support in return creates the security we all need in these trying times.

Feeling in control with so much uncertainty about what will happen next about school, work or family life a pet can be a constant for everyone and make people happy, have purpose and an opportunity to give back.

Pets make all people feel wanted and loved and needed.

Many dogs and cats may need homes since shelters and rescues had to close or have limited staff.  First, sit down and make this a family decision and recognize that kids of all ages may say they will do the work to care for a per but in reality Parent(s) have to ultimately take responsibility for the care of any animal:  Do you have the time? What benefits do you see for all your children?  Can your family afford the costs of caring for a pet: food, medical and other items. Make sure you explore the responsibilities of taking on a puppy or kitten, an untrained or trained pet, and what is involved?  Also realize everyone gets attached to a pet and they may get sick or die at one point which will impact your family.  That is life but given the age of your children and the age of the pet exploring this issue as adults is important.

Focus on positive life experiences and recognize each child’s unique temperament which will enhance the mental and social wellbeing of everyone in your family.  Continue to connect safely with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors: always social distance, wash your and each child’s hands several times a day for at least 20 seconds, and Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength® call for emotional help at 1-855-427=2736 got Parents, Children and Youth!

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