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How Raising Pets Can Help Children Develop Emotional Intelligence 18 Comments

How Raising Pets Can Help Children Develop Emotional Intelligence

It’s no secret that pets tend to top the gift list of many children around the world, and are great ways to teach children responsibility and create priceless memories for a lifetime. Although hard life skills and physical mementos are already great reasons to have a pet for your child, it has additionally been shown that children exhibit greater mental development with a pet in the home. The range of emotions that can be affected simply by caring for a pet is extensive and can be extremely beneficial towards helping children grow.

Here are a few of the strongest emotional benefits children can develop with their pets.

1) Empathy

One of the most important skills anyone can have is being able to understand another person from their point of view. Understanding a person’s needs based on their actions and desires allows two people to forge a strong and effective relationship. Developing a bond with a pet allows children to learn the importance of caring for someone that is not yourself, and learning that other people have potentially different needs than our own. This translates outside of forming relationships, too, as it will allow children to have a better idea of how to solve problems and learn how to understand them to meet them head-on.

2) Communication

Although two people may speak the same verbal language, the most basic form of communication has always been through action and non-verbal cues. If someone is tense, or if their faces tell you they’re worried, you would probably be able to tell when someone is not doing well even if they verbally claim to be. Two people who can’t speak the same verbal language can still communicate in a limited form through facial expressions and body language.

This is exactly how pets communicate to us. We don’t understand their verbal language and must learn their facial and body language to understand what they need and how to care for them. By living with a pet and constantly practicing this at an early age, children can learn a lot not just about their pets, but in human interaction, too.

3) Support

Pets don’t judge you for your behaviors, and they remain a constant source of support even when times are hard. This unconditional love is one of the best models a young person can have, especially in terms of feeling as though they have a source of love that is a constant no matter what they do.

Children who are going through a hard time in their lives will often turn to their pets as a source of comfort, knowing that when they need it, the support will always be given. Anxiety can be a powerful thing, especially when it gets so bad it’s overwhelming. With their support system by their side, children feel like their problems aren’t nearly as big anymore, and they can move towards fixing the problem with a clearer and more level head.

4) Confidence

The more you build your emotional foundation, the more confident you feel. You enter life feeling like you have the emotional tools to get you started and put you on the path for success. With a little bit of confidence, the world can feel a lot easier, and people will start to take notice. You will sound more confident, look more confident, and more people will listen to your opinions. Children with pets don’t just gain a companion, they gain a valuable life teacher who is always there to help when they need them most.

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18 Replies to “How Raising Pets Can Help Children Develop Emotional Intelligence”

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