Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, turtles, red fishes, many of you have had to deal with this question that often annoys parents. The first thoughts that come to mind are the commitment and the fear of failing to handle the situation. But growing up with a pet for a child is a very positive experience.
Being in touch with a pet makes children more responsible, improves empathy, and teaches them the cycle of life. Choosing to adopt a puppy is a definitely choice that should not be undertaken lightly; A puppy changes your life. It is an important choice that parents must carry out by evaluating all the pros and cons.
Sometimes it happens that the puppies will choose us (as it happened to me). You find them in front of you, with those eyes. And once you swore that you will never leave them again. Once you get home, your pet will become your kid’s best friend, whom to learn a lot of new things from.
Several studies have shown that children living with pets have more developed their emotional intelligence (IE). Emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively understand, manage and express your own feelings and interpret those of other people. That’s because communication with your puppy is made of empathy. The child learns to understand the wishes and mood of his puppy by observing his behavior.
Living with an animal not only affects socialization and interaction behavior skills in children, but also increase their sense of responsibility and the value of care and respecting from their relationship.
What are the benefits to grow with a pet for children?
- They learn to be empathetic and responsible: children who have pets, from the most tender age, learn to take care of another creature. They look at their puppy wondering what he needs, and with a communication that does not need words, they understand their desires. They learn to read and understand the emotions and behaviors of others, precisely because they’ve trained already from the earliest age to observe a living being with difficult physical needs.Animals continuously transmit their emotional state through their sight, gesture, proximity, or physical warmth. This teaches children to decipher the non-verbal language code and apply it to everyday life with other people (who often hide and cover their emotional state with verbal language). Living with a pet also necessarily involves responsibilities that, once completed, will increase the child’s self-esteem by helping him feel competent and independent.
- Reduce stress: Animals provide peerless emotional support and are able to mitigate negative emotions. During a test in which children were asked about who would turn in case of difficulty, most of them mentioned their own animal. Pets can, in fact, make us feel their unconditional love, while other people might judge and criticize. It is also scientifically proven that taking care of a dog or cat lowers blood pressure and tension, which explains the wide introduction of animals in rehabilitation therapies, known as pet-therapy.
- They learn to accept diversity: Animals are different living being that the child would like to be. If our little ones have an animal next to them, their communication skills will amplify and sooner and better they will learn to understand and to accept diversity. (R. Marchesini, psychologist and psychotherapist)
- Decreases the risk of allergies: Young people who have lived with a dog during their first year of life have 50% less chance of becoming sensitive to allergies than those who have not grown up with a dog. (Study published by Clinical & Experimental Allergy)
- They will understand life cycle: A child growing up with a pet will see all the phases of life cycle, from birth to death. The loss of a pet is a time of great pain for the child and the family, but it can also be a time of learning. “The way their parents handle mourning will teach the child to face death,” Endenburg and Baarda write
Why to love pets?
Because they give you everything, without asking anything. Because the power of man with arms is helpless. Because they are eternal children, because they do not know what hatred in the war is. Because they do not know the money and console only with a place to escape from the cold. Because they understand without word, because their gaze is as pure as their soul. Because they do not know envy or grudge, because forgiveness is still natural in them. Because they live without having a luxurious home. Because they do not buy love, they simply wait for him and because they are our companions, eternal friends from whom nothing can separate. Because they are alive. For this and other thousand things they deserve our love. (Mother Theresa from Calcutta)