Childhood, when lived in the company of animals, is more complete and leaves an emotional legacy that can make us grow as people. The happiness that an animal offers us, be it a cat or a dog, is so sincere and noble that all children should grow up with this privilege.
According to a study published in The Guardian newspaper , having a pet helps children become more empathetic. Still the same study reveals that children who grow up with an animal are less likely to have asthma problems (up to 50% if they grow up on a farm).
Pets are a source of well-being for children. We are sure that now you will be remembering with affection and nostalgia that animal that gave you so many smiles when you were little. In this article, we invite you to reflect on the importance of having pets from childhood.
Animals help us socialize in childhood
Dogs or cats are more than just playmates. Nowadays, there are parents who are afraid to bring a pet home with young children because they consider them a risk. However, it won’t hurt to remember that a well-cared for pet is a therapeutic resource for our children.
Dieter Krowatschek, child psychologist and lecturer in Marburg (Germany), has written an interesting book entitled “Children need pets” in which he demonstrates the ability of dogs to promote the socialization of children.
Dogs are a therapeutic resource for children
Some animals, such as dogs for example, are on several occasions a therapeutic resource for children:
- Children are more curious and less cautious than adults. Animals can be the most intrepid and courageous explorers, so they can show children that the best attitude towards reality is to open up to discoveries. On the other hand, they are wonderful guardians, which makes them perfect companions in the first skirmishes of our little ones.
- Thanks to animals, our children develop an adequate empathic capacity. They understand from an early age the value of a caress, words and the importance of positive reinforcements above negative ones.
- Something as simple as having a dog at home avoids the risk of spending many hours in front of the computer or television. Children will develop a more playful, more open relationship skills.
- Pets are excellent companions when it comes to venting emotions, channeling sadness, fear or anger. In fact, we cannot forget what many studies say: animals have emotions and they can interpret ours too.
Nor should we underestimate the great therapeutic benefit that dogs can offer to children with autism or attention deficit. They allow them to focus, enjoy physical contact, and interact with the environment more safely.
Animals and their importance in our memories
It is usually said that a happy childhood is the basis for a complete, more secure maturity. Having grown up in the company of an animal offers us a cognitive and emotional resource that we will never lose and that will greatly enrich us.
Another aspect to consider is that most memories are based on childhood and give us an identity. All these beautiful moments lived with our dog when we were little are housed in our hippocampus and create a sort of “black box”. Something that survives forever.
- We all have two types of memory : one seems to have a special preference for reviving the most uncomfortable parts of our past; instead, the other somehow “compensates”, has the task of transporting us to the happy moments of our childhood, when our pets had an essential role.
- The clearest memory begins to take shape around the age of 3. From this age to adolescence, we live what Maria Montessori has defined as “sensitive periods”. During these times, any stimulus acquires vital importance.
- If my childhood is my identity, my dog taught me the loyalty of love. We are sure you will agree with this statement: thanks to that animal that grew up with you, you have learned what it means to give everything for nothing. Dogs do not know grudges and this is something you have certainly learned and have never forgotten.
We also know that it is possible that the memories, of the dog, cat or other animals that accompanied you during your childhood, also bring you a little nostalgia, mixed with sadness, A feeling similar to the one that invades us when we recall some moments shared with loved ones who, for one reason or another, are no longer there.
At this point, don’t forget that animals never die, they sleep in our hearts. There is no greater tribute that you can give to your four-legged friends than a beautiful smile and a great gratitude for everything they have done for you: thanks to them you are better people and, with the experience you have behind you. , you probably want your children to have an animal next to them to grow up with.