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Children who grow up with pets become 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. But Why? 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. 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. 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. What do you think?
How'd Your Life Change After Pets?
According to the ASPCA, 3 out of 5 Americans own or have owned a cat or dog, so I'm sure that there's plenty of you out there who have one right now! But how many of you remember a time when you'd never owned a pet at all? Chances are, while you wouldn't trade Fluffy or Spot for the world, there's definitely a few things you took for granted! Taiwanese artist John Huang adorably illustrates just a few of these examples in a series that compares life before and life after adopting his golden retriever Maimai. Which ones do YOU relate to the most? Remember when your car interior wasn't covered in dog hair? How about those stuffed animals you'd put on low-lying shelves, never worrying about when they'd become a living room floor massacre? Think it's safe to say you're not just buying food for yourself anymore. And after you own a pet, you certainly start appreciating other's pets too. Your phone used to be nothing but food porn, but now it's full of pictures of your favorite fuzzy one. (Okay, and maybe still food porn.) Ah, yes. When you could come home from work WITHOUT the whole house being torn apart. And you didn't have to go through a new charger a week - because WHO CHEWS WIRES?! And remember when you could hang out without stressing over who's going to walk the dog? What else do you remember about life before pets? I know one thing I certainly took for granted is leaving my shoes out. Now if I'm not super cautious about where I put them, my dog finds a way to tear them apart! Let me know what YOU remember in the comments below!
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