Pets and children can they live together? Or what impact does this have on the health of children and even all members of the family when they live together? All children want to have a pet. However, some parents may not always fulfill this request by thinking whether pets will be a problem in terms of the health of their children.
Actually, instead of these concerns, we should ask ourselves the questions of “What are the benefits of keeping pets?”, “Why every child should grow up with a pet?” even “Why should everyone get a pet?” Because researches have shown that pets are good for kids even all the family. So, in this article, we aimed to give the answers to these questions.
If you want to reach more detailed information on pets, you can read our article.
The foundations of children’s love of animals are based on the family. Love of animals helps the child learn to respect and love all other living creatures in the world. Experts emphasize that they apply the behaviors that children see within the family in the same way and make these a habit. That is why families play an important role in bringing love to a child for animals. It is not always easy for a child who has grown away from animal love in the family to gain this love in the coming years. Researches on this subject reveal that a child who gained animal love has also adopted many features.
Your child needs different love
Your baby experiences mother love with breast milk, food, touching and meeting her basic needs. He/she then completes the process with a blanket, or sometimes with a teddy bear, as a transitional object. Then he/she tries to get to know his surroundings and other people, to be interested, to love and to complete the need for love. While your child is experiencing this process, animals also have an important effect on recognizing love. His/her possession of an animal is also supportive of the development of his/her psychology. It causes him/her to calm down, socialize, establish a friendship, and then place the love in his/her life, and take responsibility.
You can overcome many problems with love. It will be supportive to feed animals at home while solving the problems we have with our child. In this process, while your child is feeding animals, he/she can practice how to socialize with people, share his/her happiness or unhappiness with it, and relieve his/her anger or restlessness. Maybe your child can also experience the feeling of losing his/her beloved. Acquiring these emotions at a young age will positively affect your child’s development.
The importance of animal love
It is not appropriate to define love, just like the person loves the person, or just the mother loves her child or the child loves his/her mother. Love is so broad that we can love everything; food, a flower, your home or a car, but the love of animals is very different from all these counted emotions. Because, just like loving a person, this feeling is mutual and even a more unconditional attachment is formed between the two creatures.
No matter how unconditionally you love your child, sometimes you may not be able to show enough attention, love, and compassion in daily routine, but you will be the whole world of your animal. If your child has an animal, it expects from him/her to love and care. The animal has no daily affairs, does not set rules, does not give orders, has a simple love. After giving food and a few basic treatments that vary with each animal, the rest is just love sharing. Your child plays with him and communicates.
Pets And Children. How To Give Children Love Of Animals?
It is suggested that children should not be rejected without evaluating to adopt a pet and their pet desires in all aspects. When we say that pets have good effects on children, children’s health and children’s allergies may come to mind. Well, are pets good for children’s health? Experts say that children who grow up with the animal have stronger immune systems. Enable your child to recognize animals. Always consider the contribution of growth with a pet to social and emotional development.
Animal Phobia. Pets Fear Of Children
When you go out with your child, you have witnessed how they love cats and dogs on the street and tried to touch immediately. Most of the children are fearless of animals when they are young, usually, they approach them to touch and love with curiosity. Like many behaviors that adults don’t dare to see, it is a common occurrence to see that young children never hesitate to approach animals, because fear is learning emotion.
The fear of animals that can occur in your child and can develop for cats and dogs, as we often encounter them on the street. We can also call this hairy animal phobia. There is a point that you should not forget that the “animal phobia” that occurs in your child is that you reinforce it. Perhaps the many behaviors you make and many words you say unconsciously cause this feeling to be triggered.
How do you overcome an animal phobia?
If you want to instill love for your child rather than fear of animals, let’s list a few simple things you can do:
- You should ensure that your child comes into contact with an animal that he/she will not fear.
- If he/she is afraid to touch the animals, you can first give him/her a fish in the jar. This allows him/her to experience this love.
- You can go to an aquarium maker or a pet shop.
- If your place is suitable, you can regularly give bread to the fish together or go to feed the pigeons regularly. This behavior gives them responsibility and helps overcome their fear.
- You can take him/her to the zoo and look at animals from a place where he can dare, without going too close to them.
- You should definitely inform them about the diversity and lives of animals.
- Feeding any animal (such as casting, giving milk) will be helpful in overcoming your child’s many fears.
The Effects Of Pets On Children
Animal love, which plays an important role in the emotional and social development of children, needs to be given from a young age. The fact that the child creates an attachment with an animal and takes responsibility also provides important facilities to the parents who prepare him/her for life. In the next part of our article, we want to talk about the positive effects of animal love on children.
Children growing up with animals are extraversive
Research shows that people who feed pets have better psychological status, are physically healthier and more fit, deal more easily with negative emotions, are disciplined and extraversive and feel less alone than those who do not.
The self-respect and self-confidence of the child increases
Children with pets respect themselves more than those without pets. It is important for the child to participate in the task sharing related to the care of the pet at home, to accept and reward this participation. Assigning age-appropriate tasks to children about animal care and allowing the child to complete these tasks successfully contribute to the development of self-respect and self-confidence by helping the child feel more competent.
The child manages to make his/her own decisions.
Another important point in the social and emotional development of children with pets is the development of autonomy. Feeding animals increases the child’s ability to be an individual who can make his/her own decisions. The fact that children with pets, especially in the transition from childhood to adolescence, take more responsibility in matters related to animal care according to their age supports their autonomy acquisition.
Improves social skills positively
Living with pets also improves the social skills of children. It is observed that children who grow up with dogs at home show more socially competent behaviors and maintain this in adulthood. Social competence makes it easier for children to enter social groups, thereby enables a greater sense of social support and a stress-reducing effect. So, it has a positive contribution to mental health.
Empathy, which forms the basis of social intelligence development, is a skill that can be developed with the pet feeding of children. The ability to empathize with the animal and understand its needs also improves the ability to empathize with humans. The child’s ability to empathize with the pet has a more developed empathy skill, and these children show more helpful behavior. The development of empathy in children can also vary depending on what kind of pet is fed. Research; reveals that the dog feeding of children develops more empathy than feeding other animals.
Family relationships are also getting stronger
Having a pet at home also increases the time spent by the family together, and thus, the communication of the parents with their children and the unity of the family is strengthened. Animals also positively affect the relations of siblings with each other. It creates a common interest for children and prepares the ground for them to exhibit their cooperation and sharing behavior. The most important point that parents should pay attention to is not to forget that they are the first responsible person for the care of the pet. And they should take care of instilling the love of animals as role models for their children.
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PS: Image of the post cited from pixabay