Children and animals: let’s be friends!
Sooner or later, every family with a child asks itself, «Should we have a pet or not?». According to psychologists, those children who have grown up without any animal in the house have a lower level of mental and emotional development, than their peers, who had one or more pets. Thanks to the pets children quickly forget about their problems and troubles, gain peace of mind.
Previously, the presence of allergy in the family immediately brushed aside any options for cats and dogs. But now appeared so many different breeds, and were invented so many drugs that even the most finicky and allergic person can choose a suitable breed of a dog or a cat. Moreover, studies have shown that the constant presence of a dog in the house reduces the chances of allergy in children. Another surprising fact states that among children who are in a close contact with animals, there is a much lower risk of eczema and other skin diseases, and also scientists have identified higher levels of certain chemicals in the immune system, that allowed health professionals to conclude that immunity of such children is stronger.
But it is not the main thing. More important besides the size and degree of villosity of a candidate for member of the family, is to establish the right relationship between the pet and children, make it clear to your child that it is not a toy for a certain time, but it is a living creature with its own character, desires and needs.
In this regard, the first thing that puzzles parents is the age, at which a child may already adequately accept the animal and feel responsibility for it. Of course, children are different, some of them at the age of three understand that a cat must be fed, and a dog needs to walk, and for some the age of 12 is difficult to explain the difference between a fur pillow and a living creature. Psychologists are inclined to believe that at four years old children are already able to take care for a pet. Cynologists (dog experts) and educators recommend to buy a dog when a child reaches the age of seven.
Why so? Because the child has to participate in the distribution of responsibilities for the care of animals, such as a five-year child can be trusted to feed a cat, and a schoolchild is quite able to walk the dog while parents are at work. When you accustom your children to the care for pets, you give them an opportunity to feel that someone relies on them, needs their help and love, and that means a child grows more responsible, sensitive to the needs of others, learns to properly allocate their time and, of course, gets a lot more joy and sincere feelings than their devoid of pets peers.
Many of you after reading the first part of this article may object that in your family pet appeared much earlier than a child, and respectively, a child from birth has to get used to having a cat or dog (actually for some pets appearance of small «center of the Universe» also can become a shock). The main thing is not to rush into extremes: you do not have to run to take the animal in good hands with tears in your eyes, or lay a sleeping cat in the cradle to a newborn baby. For a cat or a dog, it is important to know that the appearance of a baby does not entail a reduction of your love to it. So far as possible, do not change daily walks and feeding, often pat your creature and talk to it.
A child as he/her matures must see at your own example how to communicate with and care for animals. Try not to leave them alone until you are sure that a curious child will not pull the cat’s tail, and the animal will not scratch your kids’ back, and always stop any attempt of a baby to make a cat or dog an experimental doll. If you teach your children and pets to live in peace and harmony, family holidays, evenings and walks together will bring a lot more joy and fun!
Read also: TOP-15 best dog breeds for children