The Importance of Encouraging, Supporting & Promoting a Love of Animals

Cat&DogIt is essential that we encourage our kids to love animals. Besides the fact that pets can provide kids with some of their fondest memories, animals can also teach kids some valuable life skills. In fact, animals actually display strong social behaviors that humans can learn from.

Empathy and Compassion
For me, empathy and compassion are perhaps the most important life skills we can learn from animals. Since animals cannot tell children what they are feeling, kids learn to sense what their pet is feeling. As a result of this, children can develop a highly attuned relationship with their pets, which in turn leads to better relationships with other people. Generally, children trained to show kindness to animals become more considerate in their relations with others.

Psychological studies have also shown that the way people treat animals is closely related to the way they treat people. So, if children treat their pets with dignity and respect, they are likely grow up to be humane and caring adults.

Communication
Children can improve their communication skills by being around animals. Since animals cannot talk, children have to learn to read their pet’s body language. These skills can later be applied to human relationships as well. Noticing posture, facial expressions, and other actions can help children read between the lines in their conversations with others.

Responsibility and Nurturing skills
Taking care of pets provides opportunities for children to develop their nurturing skills. Kids often develop the ability to anticipate the needs of their pets. Having pets around can also instill a sense of responsibility in kids when they are asked to share in simple chores like feeding, grooming, and cleaning up after the pet.

Confidence
Studies have shown that children with pets in the home have higher self-esteem. Pets can give children a sense of unconditional acceptance. Kids who have a strong attachment to pets tend to feel more connected to their communities and relationships.

How to Love Unconditionally
Kids can learn much about loving unconditionally from their pets. Loving others unconditionally is a difficult task for humans. Pets don’t care about whatever annoying habits you have; they just accept you for who you are. Pets can show children that we can love without the expectation of getting something back in return.
Sources:
http://allpetsanimalhospital.org/blog/encouraging-childs-lifelong-love-animals/
http://www.ala.org/offices/resources/humaneeducation
http://www.petakids.com/parents/teaching-compassion/
http://frogsaregreen.org/tag/dads-encouraging-love-of-nature/
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/why-it-is-important-to-raise-kids-around-animals/

Photo Credits:
Photo By Artur Potosi via StockPholio.com

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