There is no more important growth stage for human development than infancy, early childhood, and middle childhood period. All personality traits and possible future health or psychological issues are based on the time spent in these stages. From biological to psychological growth and development, to personal traits that make every human unique. Children always start learning by mimicking and reflecting on their role models, and in this particular stage, it is always parents. However not every parent is always prepared to recognize a children’s needs at certain challenges children encounter. That is not to say that children lack parent’s love or that parents don’t give enough attention and care to their children. The problem occurs because children are not able to express themselves properly enough at that growth stage. Oftentimes, a child is not able to express their worries and needs as they have not yet developed the required though process skillset which adults possess. When children are not able to express themselves it can lead to a chain of negative effects that can jeopardize their growth and development. Loneliness, anxiety, depression, and the list go on. Children slowly develop the required skill set for survival in these stages and they must be surrounded by a proper environment. Lonely children who haven’t created a proper social environment can sometimes lead to serious consequences both for their health and their cognitive, psychological and physical development. Cognitive development is crucial as much for children as it is for adults. It is the construction of all of our thought processes. Such as memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. Studies have shown that children with pets have quite a lot of benefits. This is especially true for children who experience PSTD and children with autism.
No matter what pet children decide to have there are certain things they will passively learn by having a pet. One of the first things children learn about pets is what they need to eat. By knowing what to eat, children learn the importance of proper nutrition and can easier understand the importance of their nutrition because children tend to project behavior they are surrounded by. They often tend to be rebellious and picky eaters, and they are known for using reverse psychology when parents try to guide them. Parents can guide their children easier to a proper lifestyle because children can reflect on their pets. Each thing that benefits their pet children will likely understand how the same pattern can benefit themselves. More physical activity, better nutrition, proper care, proper rest and the list goes on. Even with pets such as fish, they can still reflect some of the positive healthy life aspects. Children that are bullied or experience depression, often don’t know how to overcome such challenges and they tend to isolate themselves. Their inner voice is not expressed, but with pets, they have a friend they can talk to and find relief. Pet love is always unconditional, therefore children always easily open to them. Through pets, children also learn to empathize. Empathy is a very important trait because empathy naturally and passively enhances compassion and responsibility. Empathy can motivate children to be helpful as they learn to understand how others feel. They slowly develop cognitive empathy through their pets. Children learn to be compassionate and they start to care about others and they are more responsible.
There are quite a lot of health benefits from a pet, both for young and adults. Studies have shown that owners have lower triglycerides and cholesterols levels. Naturally, this leads to a lower rate of heart disease. There are even a lot of recorded cases in which a dog owner survived a heart attack thanks to their dog. Since dogs are creatures of habit, there are even instances where dogs brought phones to their owners before and during the heart attack since they saw that once their owner uses a phone, they get treatment and get better. Studies have also shown that pets can also speed up the recovery time of their owners. Pet owners passively have lower blood pressure. Studies have also shown that pet owners are less likely to have stress, anxiety or depression. This is quite logical, considering that cuddling with pets can increase levels of dopamine. Dopamine levels which we produce while playing with our pets help us calm and relax. One of the major human needs is need for touch, and naturally, this need is paramount for every child. While most common pets are cats and dogs, even pets such as fish can help release muscle tension and lower pulse rate, which is why people often say that watching fish helps them calm. Also, pets can decrease allergies. Although not entirely factual and fully researched, recent studies do suggest that they may have beneficial effects to prevent the development of allergies, especially in early childhood.
Some children have difficulties in making friends. It is a very sensitive challenge in this growth stage as it can sometimes lead to isolation, anxiety, and depression. This is especially true during pre-school, and school activities. These are some of the social environments that parents can’t do much and often feel like their hands are tied. Pets are usually quite popular among children, therefore children with pets can make friends easier and create a healthier social environment this way. This is paramount for children’s growth and especially for developing social skill set which will help them cope with their future challenges and help them be more independent.
The main question is not if the pets would help lonely children. It is more of a question of why wouldn’t pets help them? The numerous positive outcomes can not only help children but their parents as well. Parents can create a healthier environment and better communication with their children if there is something that connects them and something they can share and a kitten or a puppy is something even the hardest of hearts simply can’t resist.