Divorce isn’t easy for anyone, especially children. Often, younger children don’t understand that the family dynamic they are familiar with will be changing. No longer will they have both parents in the same home together and this can cause various issues such as health-related problems, and a rise in anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. While these risks can be mitigated by developing a stable parenting plan, a family pet can also help soothe any stress a child may face throughout the divorce process.
How do pets help?
Children become attached to their pets and that attachment becomes more prominent when their family dynamic begins to change. Children enjoy talking to their pets, viewing them as a confidante whom they can share their secrets and fears with. This can be therapeutic for children, helping lower stress and anxiety. Pets are also extremely attentive to those they have developed a bond with and will provide comfort when they sense children are upset.
Having a pet through a divorce provides reassurance to the children, and there are several other ways a pet can help children.
- Pets provide unconditional love
A pet can help negate some of the negative thoughts the children may have. Because pets are supportive and loving, they provide children with love that is constant, helping the children feel more comfortable and secure.
- Pets help with communication between divorced parents and their children
Communication can be difficult, especially if the divorce is an ongoing process. However, having a pet can help parents communicate with each other and their children in a healthier way. No child wants to be stuck as their parents’ messenger but with a pet, particularly one that accompanies the children from one house to the other, parents will be able to deliver messages alongside the pet’s carrier and supplies without the children having to see it. Additionally, if the pet doesn’t accompany the children from house to house, then it provides an opportunity for the parent without the pet to ask questions about the children’s pet. In return, the children might open up to their parent and ease some of the stress both parties may be feeling.
- Pets can be a best friend
Children aren’t the only ones who may find it hard to adjust to the new family dynamics. In fact, divorced parents will feel just as much stress over the divorce proceedings as the children. The stability the presence of a family pet can offer isn’t just for children, but for parents as well. Pets are not judgmental, are exceptionally good listeners, and will warmly welcome their family back home.
Pets are more than just animals you bring home, they’re part of the family
Somehow, animals are able to sense distress and provide comfort to those they care about. As divorces are a stressful time for all members of the family, the family pet can help alleviate some of the anxiety, worry, and stress their family is feeling.