Pets and their importance in child development –

Pet care contributes significantly to a child’s physical, emotional, social and mental development. Children who grow up with animals display more social, outgoing, and sociable behaviors. In addition, children who assist in the care of an animal and take care of it themselves grow up with a sense of responsibility from an early age.

Specialist clinical psychologist Emine Fettahoğlu from the Department of Psychology at Memorial Service Hospital gave information on the benefits of raising children with animals.

Phobic Parents, Don’t Project Your Negative Feelings Onto Children
The love of children for animals has a very important place in the development of the child. First of all, we must know to what extent parents can be role models in instilling a love of animals in children. Parents who cannot approach animals for reasons such as animal phobia should not reflect their negative feelings on their children. Clean-minded parents don’t want to take care of pets at home. In such cases, children can be helped to take care of animals such as fish. In order to instill love for animals, a pet can be brought into the house with the joint decision of the family. The child must be properly informed of the care of this animal. Watching documentaries, reading magazines, reading books about animals that will interest him, helping animals living on the streets can be considered the first steps in instilling a love of animals in children.

Make sure the child’s request is not a whim

Parents need to make the right decisions about caring for an animal. Otherwise, bringing pets into the house can harm both the child and the pet. Parents must first assess whether their children are able and willing to care for animals. Because animals that are brought into the home in accordance with the children’s wishes may encounter situations such as loneliness, hunger and indifference if the interest of the child and the parent diminishes, or worse, they are left to the streets or in shelters. Parents looking to buy pets for their children should first consider whether they are willing to share a home with a pet. Before buying a pet, the responsibilities of children should be discussed. It should be determined who will take care of the animal. When the children are unable to take care of the animal, the parents must ensure that this situation continues. When the children do not own the pet, the parents should take responsibility for the pet. It is necessary to explain to the child that the animal is not a toy but a living being and that it has responsibilities on him.

Animal care helps the child in many ways.

The benefits of raising children with animals are listed as follows:

– A child’s physical development contributes to the physical development of playing games, being in contact and running with their pet.
– Observing the movements of the animal and being able to accompany the emotion of an animal helps the emotional development of the child.
– Traveling with the animal, taking responsibility and feeding it allows the child to become a more sensitive person and to socialize by promoting the relationship with his peers.
– Seeing different species of animals, knowing their characteristics and discovering them helps the child’s mental development.
– A child’s love of animals opens the door to a confident and outgoing person. It is a great privilege for the child to know the love of animals so that he can communicate with his peers and express himself easily.
– Children who grow up loving animals easily adapt to their peers, elders, all living and non-living beings and feel less alone than other children.
– The different responsibilities of the child include caring for animals, which allows the development of a sense of responsibility.
– As long as there is a request for help from the animal with which he comes into contact and takes care of him, the child does not have a phobia, he learns to show empathy, he understands unconditional love, and as his love for the animal he cares for grows, a sense of compassion develops.
– The love of animals leads children to learn to respect and love creatures outside their own world.
Caring for the animal benefits its self-confidence and self-esteem.
It allows the reinforcement of communication within the family, the presence of a pet in the family allows to increase the behaviors of cooperation and sharing.

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