This article describes tips on teaching the babies about animals’ world and also various interesting data concerning the studies results on children and animals at home.
When a child sees a homeless dog, cat etc., he starts sympathizing with it. And it’s very important to develop such empathy for it will influence the child’s kindness towards the animals and will value when he grows up. Many children don’t even know how to take care of the animals, how to behave with them. Some of them approach a strange animal very recklessly without any fear. Others are afraid of it’s one sight. What a child should know about the animals and when to start teaching him?
You should start as early as possible. You should point out animals and say what they are. For example, birds in the park, bees or hedgehogs in the garden. And the child will look and listen from the distance. You should teach your children not to approach animals they are not familiar with.
It’s also important to teach specific full names of the animals. For example German Shepherd or Siamese Cat instead of just “doggie” or “pussycat”, Night-Fly instead of just a “butterfly”. It’s great for a child to observe animals in the specific books that have big pictures or just outside the house. It’s great to read stories about the animals and what important role they play in our life. For example wolves control the population of strong and healthy animal in the forests; bees pollinate plants; worms fertilize the soil. There is so much for children to learn about different animals!
You should let the baby contact with the animals. But first you should teach the baby to be gentle with the animals. She should be taught stroking techniques using toy animals as models. You should show gentleness and the baby must know that it is bad to hit and worry the animals.
Children and Animals at Home
The intelligence of those children who grew up without a dog or a cat is lower than of those children who had animals at home. In addition, contact with animals facilitates children’s adaptation in society. At least, psychologists say so. It is interesting that the study of scientists from different countries who studied children’s passion for different animals, showed that most children wanted to see namely a dog as a four-legged friend. Next ones are the parrot, cat, hamster, fish, rat and monkey. Also wild animals are included in the list: a lion, a tiger and horses. Moreover, if a child feels not good, he is longing more to cats, dogs and fish. Just in this order. Though it is possible, that children called the animals in their houses as a beloved ones.
However, adults act in the same way. There are many cases when an adult strongly objected from any animals in the house, and then just take a strong liking to a tiny fluffy or feathered ball that filled the house with a feeling of peace, warmth and permanence. And there is no need to say this about children. Every year, thousands of them are going through their parents’ divorce, growing up in an atmosphere of family scandals. And if there is no opportunity to stroke a cat, to talk to a dog, to tinker with a hamster and to forget about all the troubles for a while, to feel the peace and comfort of home, a child can get a serious neurosis, his health can become worse.
The recent interview of British five year olds has shown that pets are their almost best friends. Seven year olds said that a dog as a defender is in the second place after Father. They are not scared to stay in the room with a dog, even if the lights are switched off in the house. A cat is almost as tender as Mother, especially when a child cries or is ill. Children often think of animals as full members of the family and can talk to them like with their mother, father, brother or sister. This, in particular, confirms the answer to the question, who would a child come to when problems appear. The most little Britons always mentioned pets.
There are other advantages of children and animals communication. The latter can have a direct effect on the health of their little owners. Some people believe that animal fur can cause child allergies. However, according to U.S. pediatricians, when in the house there are two or more cats or dogs, on the contrary, the risk of child allergies is reduced. It was found that 77% of children living in such “zoological” families were amazingly resistant to allergies. Physicians believe that the child’s immune system is likely to activate in these cases, and this leads to the suppression of certain types of allergic reactions.
There is an evidence that children who have animals are rarely sick. And at the age of five-eight years cats and dogs bring a child the greatest benefit. Scientists did an analysis of 138 children’s saliva samples to determine the levels of immunoglobulin responsible for the immune system. It led to the conclusion that the presence of cats or dogs in the house makes a little child’s body more actively fight against infections. The only thing that physicians are anxious about is the habit of children to sleep with a fluffy pet.
The animals are also able to treat. There are well-known musculoskeletal system diseases treatment methods, which are based on horse riding. There are special schemes of neuroses treatment. For example, a child who suffers from stuttering as one of the neurosis manifestations, can more easily get in contact and start talking to an animal, which is also small, silent and helpless. Hyperactive baby calms down, stroking a cat, a dog or a hamster and learns to control strength of her movements. At this time the animal becomes a mediator and helps to establish relationships with adults and the whole world.
Many opponents of the animals can say: a child will not only learn to love and compassionate, but will torture himself and a kitten or a puppy. Firstly, it is not so easy to torture the animal – even a little kitten can defend itself, it can hide at a last resort. Secondly, it depends on the adults’ attitude to an animal – a child will copy their behavior. If parents take a puppy or kitten as a new member of family, a pet will become a friend to a child, and if an animal is just a piece of furniture, the child will also quickly learn to treat any living creature indifferently and cruelly.
Another point that parents are anxious about, when they decided to have a pet in the house, is which pet is the best for their child. Some experts advise to focus on the child’s type and temperament. For example, the introverted, phlegmatic children need an animal with which they can communicate by means of sounds and touch: guinea pigs, hamsters, mice. The animals’ needs should be taken into account as well. As we know, happy and active people better get along together with birds: in a depressing, gloomy atmosphere birds quickly become ill and may even die because of the constant stress. Turtles are boring to the children: it is not interesting to watch them, it is impossible to talk to them. A bowl with fish is more suitable for the children who are rational, prone to collecting, who know what they want from life, as well as for the restless, excitable ones – watching the idly swimming fish for a long time will calm any nerve system.
Children and Animals should live in peace, so good manners toward animals will keep the child safe and will develop much kindness, love and empathy to our world.