How do dogs – or pets in general – improve kids’ life skills?
According to the researchers around the world; Like Germany, England, and The United States, children who cared for pets, mainly a dog, are more likely to develop better social skills, increased empathy, more self esteem, and become more competent in nurturing living things.
A study with school children found that the increased empathy was a direct factor of owning a pet (dog or cat). The children, who participated in the study, showed a better understanding of non verbal communications; which includes an accurate perception of the body language and emotional expressions.
As a mother of three kids in elementary school, I constantly hear about the bullying that occurs on a regular basis. I even hear it from teachers, a vice principal, and sometimes on the news.
The lack of empathy that exists in our society, is a huge contributing factor to the social problems we deal with every day in our communities, and schools. Some children from each upper, middle, and lower income families, exhibit this lack of empathy.
Since empathy is a learnt skill, wouldn’t it make sense, to have this taught to them in schools, starting in kindergarten?!
Most children express interest in owning a pet or caring for one. But for many reasons, a family might not be able to provide, or care for one.
There is a solution: Why not have an hour course a week, caring for an animal. With help from the local “Humane Society” or an animal shelter the supervised period could be beneficial to both, students and animals.
Think of the awareness and revenue that an animal shelter might gain; while the animals benefit from exposure to become adopted faster. And in case of allergies, there are hypoallergenic dogs that could be used in certain cases.
A program like this could start small, but with planning and careful consideration, this could grow with our kids and make them better people.
I speak from experience; Trust me when I say, animals in general, enrich our lives tremendously.
Published in: Pets