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Every child enjoys cuddling a lovely puppy or cooing kitten, but being an animal lover involves more than caring for a household pet. Raising children to respect and love all animals is good for their social and emotional development. Experts believe that kids that are animal lovers have far more empathy, compassion, and a greater sense of responsibility.
But why are children drawn to animals?
All children naturally have a soft spot in their hearts toward critters. Young children appear to put importance on animals simply since they are animals, in contrast to most adults, who tend to put a value on animals based on their connection to humans (for instance, valuing them for friendship, food, or goods, such as leather or wool). They appreciate them for what they are in and of themselves.
Many younger children understand that animals have worth intrinsically, independent of what they can do for us, what they can provide us, or how they can assist us. Instead, they understand that animals have value because they are living beings. Children often do not give much thought to the intricacies and complexities of their connections with and affection for animals. The vast majority simply and unquestionably adore all kinds of animals.
They Are Exposed To Animals At An Early Age
Children find animals intriguing from an early age and frequently form particular ties with them due to being introduced to them via language and play.
More than a third of a baby's first words are animal names, with "cat," "dog," "duck," and "bunny" topping the group. Children like songs about animals as well. Old MacDonald is a well-known example, but others, including Itsy Bitsy Spider, Mary Had A Little Lamb, and Baa Baa Black Sheep, are also good examples.
Kids Love Things That Move
According to the findings of recent studies, another reason why children are drawn to animals is fairly straightforward. When babies first become aware of their surroundings, they are naturally drawn to energetic, vividly colored, and easy-to-see objects.
They are interested in items that produce fascinating sounds, can engage with them, and are spontaneous in their actions and behaviors. Other individuals are the most evident objects that fulfill this criterion and are thus the first to come to mind. And as a matter of fact, babies are utterly captivated by the faces and sounds of the individuals in their environment from the moment they are born.
Animals Allow Kids To Be Vulnerable
Adults reign in a child's world. Adults make the majority of choices. They provide love, nourishment, shelter, clothing, and other essential aspects for life, enjoyment, and happiness. Animals are the only living entities over whom children have control.
Although "control" is typically used negatively in our society, it is used here merely to signify "to have more power than." It's neither positive nor negative; it is just what it is.
Looking after an animal and contributing to its well-being may be incredibly significant for a small child. Kids, particularly early, are preoccupied with figuring out how smart and capable they are. Giving youngsters the chance to engage in meaningful, caring activities for a fragile species may boost their confidence tremendously.
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Kids Find An Outlet In Animals
Chatting with animals gives youngsters a sense of independence they may not necessarily feel when speaking with adults.
Adults concerned with educating and assisting kids in developing their language abilities may seem more concerned with the technicalities of what the kid is saying than the child's messages. Or a few well adults attempt to support children in "talking through" their difficulties or offer to assist a kid in processing his emotions. These additional expectations may prevent children from expressing easily and comfortably in an already complicated arena of adult communication.
Animals, on the other hand, listen without argument or demands. They listen to what a child says and do not urge them to say anything else. A child is not asked to clarify, argue, rationalize, apologize, or justify to the family pet — they just listen. This may be liberating for a kid.
Children understand that they may tell a pet everything, which will be kept private. A responsive pet will never scoff, disregard, or diminish a child's emotions, no matter how silly or mundane they may seem.
Children Find Excitement In An Animal's Unique Abilities
Children are often drawn to animals' "mystical" characteristics in tales and art. Animals often possess incredible powers - they can fly, see in the night, move at high speeds, thrive underwater, and frighten away monsters — all things children dream they can do.
Animals have exceptional abilities in real life, such as echolocation, keen senses of smell and hearing, the capacity to fly, hibernate, dig underground, hop high, breathe underwater, crawl on walls, dangle upside down, and much more. Children find animals intriguing and immediately engaging because of their amazing skills. These animals retain children's attention and maybe excellent teachers due to their specific talents.
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Pretend play allows children to show their affection for animals and their varied skills. When kids may pretend to be animals, they are liberated from the constraints of being human. They fantasize about climbing the highest treetops and swinging from vines and trees. They can soar through the skies, dive in the greatest seas, and instill terror in the hearts of lesser, weaker beings.
Playing with these imaginations is not only entertaining; it may also make children feel strong and capable. It also helps them develop empathy and compassion for animals and other people and promotes their positive sentiments toward them.
Animals, Especially Pets, Helps Calm and Center Children
People can be draining. Sometimes simply being near them might cause anxiety and annoyance. On the other hand, being in the company of an animal may have a soothing impact on the human mind.
Coming back home to a pet waiting eagerly for you to return is like walking out of a wasteland into an empathetic paradise in an increasingly turbulent and unpredictable world packed with the oddest of days and happenings.
Animals are pleasant and comforting and are often a source of support that kids seek to express their emotions. Many children associate animals with protection and security, particularly pets in the house. They are friendly, it is safe to speak to them, and they provide comfort and affection.
Pets can also help children process their anxieties. For example, when children are terrified by a big thunderstorm, it can be reassuring to see that a pet is also scared. It triggers a caring instinct within children, who then tries to seek comfort for their pets rather than prioritizing their anxieties. They find comfort in themselves through the process and develop a sense of independence, relief, and empathy.
So, Why Do Children Love Animals?
Children like living things for various reasons that they cannot accurately express. Animals may provide unique, exciting, and meaningful experiences that include more than one sensation. They speak to children in ways that are both familiar and readily understood, as well as engaging and enjoyable.
On a deeper level, animals help children sort out how they feel, take charge of their lives, and resolve difficulties by serving as a source of comfort. Animals might help children feel better in ways no one else can.