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Does having a pet making your child more compassionate?

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  • February 1, 2021
  • MKB Team

Many parents toy with the idea of keeping a pet for their children in this busy world. In today’s turbulent times, kids not only lack the company of their parents who are always busy, but also fail when they seek companionship in the form of other friends. So, pets are the only constancy when it comes to friendship. But other than a pet being that much needed friend to your child, or whatever reasons
you might have to get your child a pet, keep in mind that the most important thing to note is that a pet also fulfils many other emotional objectives.

Studies have indicated that kids with pets are way ahead in the area of Emotional Intelligence or EQ. Now, EQ is especially important as it’s key to early academic success in a child, even more than the traditional yardstick of intelligence, popularly known as IQ. The advantage EQ has over IQ is that the former may improve with
practice over time, while the latter remains more or less constant. An animal friend not only boosts a child’s EQ but also enhances the compassion levels. Here’s how and some other benefits that a four legged animal or a two legged bird friend can have:


 Having a pet in the house means that both adults and children take turns in taking care of the pet. This sharing of responsibility ensures that kids learn to take care of a pet from an early age right from feeding to bathing a pet. This nurturing
increases compassion and ensures kids grow up to be natural parents.


 A kid with a pet naturally has more empathy towards other animals and human beings. With so much hatred in the world today, each step to make our children more empathetic and compassionate is welcome.


 With compassion and responsibility comes a sense of self-esteem as completion of assigned duties like filling a rabbit’s water bowl or taking the dog out for a walk gives the child a sense of accomplishment. Children also become able, independent and compassionate.


 Data is also indicative of considerable cognitive development in kids with pets. The communication with a pet is considerably stress free for a child when compared to with an adult. Verbal development in younger kids is facilitated as a child babbles more with a pet. The emotional support pets provide is mentionable and praiseworthy. It’s like unconditional love when compared to the conditional social support by parents.


 All children are self-absorbed somewhat which is only natural. Having a pet can ensure that the attention of the child is drawn away from himself or herself and directed towards the pet. Understanding the needs of the pet and addressing the issues that a pet might have also makes the child selfless which is a
first towards becoming compassionate. Compassion and tolerance is a part of Indian culture. There are many ancient Indian folk tales that teach us the value of animals in our lives and the importance of compassion in everyday life. They also
reiterate that we should be kind and compassionate towards animals and that God exists not only in our fellow human beings but in animals as well. Read to your children and let them learn about these gems of literature which often come with morals that we would do well to incorporate in our lives as well. Our favourite is the story of the Buddha when he was a little boy. Happy reading to your child!

One day, the Buddha who was known as Prince Gautama when he
was a child was playing with his friends in the royal garden. Suddenly,
his royal cousin shot down a beautiful bird that was flying past using
his bow and arrows. The injured bird fell before Prince Gautama, who
lovingly nursed the bird’s wounds and revived it. The bird became
Gautama’s pet, but the cousin who had shot the bird down arrived to
claim the bird as his own. When both cousins claimed the bird as
their own, the matter was referred to the King of the land. After
listening to both the parties, the King ordered that Gautama was the
rightful owner of the bird. True, his cousin had shot down the bird
and was therefore claiming the right to own it, but Gautama had
saved the life of the bird, and was therefore the rightful owner of the
bird. There is nothing more sinful than to take a life, and nothing
nobler in saving one, the King ruled wisely.
This simple tale teaches more about compassion than a hundred
textbooks or articles. But sometimes, a pet can also make all the
difference!
Did you enjoy reading this article? Share your views on how one can
teach compassion for animals to children? Write in! We’d love to
hear from you.

Q&A
You ask and we answer!


How does having a pet affect a child?
Shalini Mishra, Toronto.
Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a childs
self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy.

Should pets be treated as family members?
Farida Khan, Navi Mumbai.
Pets learn in whatever way you train him or her. So, they should be
treated equally like other members in the family. Pet needs love and
affection.They are loyal to their masters like a good friend is helpful
and loyal to his or her friend in the same way pets can also be very
helpful and loyal.


Why should every child not have a pet?
Preeti Baranwal, New Delhi.
When children are allowed to have pets, it teaches them a sense of
responsibility. Unfortunately, people assume this means that they
should give their children pets as gifts. The second reason why you
shouldn't give children pets as gifts is that your child may be too
young to take it seriously.

 

 


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