Growing up with a dog is an important thing for a kid. Sometimes growing up with a dog can teach your kids things that you can’t as a Ninja Dad… Like getting out of eating your dinner by feeding your dog under the table.
Your dog can’t talk. Yes, I am making that assumption. If he DOES talk, please head to the nearest hospital or take it easy with those mushrooms.
Your kids have to learn to try to understand the dogs needs without communicating with speech. They have to learn about the dog’s body language. It forces them to have empathy, to try to understand what the dog needs by watching and listening. Developing for other living creature is an awesome life lesson.
Dogs also teach about unconditional love. Dogs love their owners unconditionally (unless you own a chihuahua—they’re pretty much assholes). They are always there if you need someone to listen to you. They are not judgmental. They want you to be happy. My son spent countless hours rolling around in our backyard with our first dog. She was literally his best friend.
It also teaches them about loss. Eventually you lose a family member. If you can navigate the loss of a pet, it makes dealing with the loss of a loved one a little more familiar. Not easier, necessarily, but familiar.
This is also true of cats. Said no one, ever*.
Dogs are unique, and I’m a believer that every Ninja Kid should grow up with a dog. If you’re a cat person, well, sorry.
*With the exception of Java. May he rest in peace.
Of course, all the life lessons from dogs are just barely scratching the surface of what kids these days need. Sometimes, kids need life lessons from us dads…
We enjoy many things about the Ninja Dad life, but one thing we don’t like is repeating ourselves. Constantly. Especially when it has to do with manners, behavior, and general commonsense decorum.
So, rather than nag ourselves hoarse, we developed a genius reminder system to keep our kids in line. They’re called manners cards, and we swear, sometimes they actually work. Check them out here.