“We have a 2 year old dog and I just got pregnant with our first child. We are quite worried about whether we should give our dog because of the child. They will be able to to live together? If nothing else, so much happens! “
The coexistence of children and animals is a major issue in modern society, given that 63% of the population say they have a pet, with < strong> 75% be between 26 and 55 years old. In fact, from 63% to 62% are seriously considering having a second pet, according to Kathimerini (2017).
However, it is worth taking the time to look at the benefits (and / or not) of children and animals coexisting. There is a great deal of research activity on this subject, which as a whole argues that pets can only contribute to the development of children and adolescents.
-Pets contribute significantly to maintaining a healthy emotional development in many ways, as it seems that children tend to turn to their pets when they want to feel familiar, safe and emotionally supported, whenever they experience intense anger, stress, sadness, grief. even joy. In short, pets can significantly reduce the stress and depression of children and adolescents, as they not only receive but also provide care and attention.
-Pets seem to be able to significantly enhance the self-image and self-confidence of children and especially adolescents. In fact, in the case of adolescents, who experience intense emotional, behavioral and cognitive changes in their relationships with themselves and significant others, pets seem to contribute significantly, as thanks to them adolescents show self-control, self-esteem, self-confidence. , calm, patience, acceptance.
-Pets also play an important role in the cognitive development of children. Children from an early age are encouraged to adjust to the “special” communication with their pet, which includes orders, rewards, punishments. Therefore, the need for communication further enhances the child’s verbal communication, as well as his memory function.
In summary, pets contribute significantly to the development of children and adolescents. As mentioned above, children and adolescents with pets are more cheerful and more energetic, and appear to be less likely to develop behavioral problems and learning difficulties, manifesting good general health.
“An animal’s eyes have the ability to speak a great language.” Martin Buber
Alexia Stathaki, Psychologist