Children who grow up with pets make more sensitive and sympathetic adults

Contact with animals gives children a greater sense of responsibility, enhances empathy and increases their understanding of the cycle of life.

If your children persistently ask for a dog or cat, you’d better get them one, as long as it’s not just a whim. In fact, pets are likely to improve your children’s development. Are you ready to choose the right dog for you? Bringing a new dog into your life is a major decision. First, make sure you are ready for a dog before you start the process, you can find puppies in your state by

bambino con cane

Several studies show how children who live with pets have a more developed emotional intelligence (EI), i.e. the ability of effectively understand, manage, and express one’s feelings and interpreting those of others. This is considered to be a key factor for a better quality of life.

Unlike the intelligence quotient (IQ), which experts consider to be unalterable, the emotional intelligence can progress with time, through practice. Animals can help children do this.

Here are the benefits our four-legged friends can have on our kids.

1. Empathy

Children living with pets early learn to take care and feed another creature, initially by observing their parents, storing up all elements they will use in every future interaction with animals. Several studies demonstrate that children who own pets feel more empathy towards other people and animals.

bambino e gatto

2. Self-esteem

Taking care of animals necessarily entails responsibilities, which give children a sense of personal fulfilment and help them feeling independent and competent. Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda, authors of the book The Waltham Book of Human–Animal Interaction, reports an experiment in which children with low self-esteem showed great progresses after they spent 9 months with a pet in their classroom.

3. Cognitive development

Spending time with pets can ease the acquisition of language and improve oral competences in children. They don’t only play with animals, but also talk to them and often read stories in their presence. Moreover, “conversing” with animals helps children fighting stutter.

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4. Stress reduction

Animals offer a unique emotional support, and are able to weaken negative feelings. During a research children were asked to tell who they would talk to if they find themselves in a spot, and most of them mentioned their own pets. Effectively, we often feel unconditionally supported by them, whilst other people would judge and criticise certain situations.

5. Better understanding of the cycle of life

Explaining concepts like birth and death could be a real challenge for parents. However, animals can sometimes help becoming familiar with such mechanisms. The death of an animal is a painful process, yet it can be a real learning experience. “The way in which their parents and others near to them deal with the situation will have an influence on how children cope with death in general throughout their lives,” write Endemburg and Baarda. “At the other end of an animal’s life is birth. For most children the birth of animals is an exciting moment that can give parents the opportunity to explain how life begins and can form part of sex education.”

bambina accarezza un cane

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