Children around the world often want pets and they now have a new argument with which to approach their parents when it comes to getting cats, dogs and other animals.
Writing in the West Sussex Gazette recently, Marc Abraham suggested that pets can make good teachers.
About this, he remarked: “From the classroom guinea pig or goldfish, to your own beloved pet cat or dog, pets make great teachers, helping to benefit children of all ages and backgrounds.”
He claimed that on his weekly school visits, he has noticed how pupils who own pets seem to have already developed valuable life skills, enhancing subjects like science, maths and literacy, as well as helping youngsters develop social skills like empathy.
Mr Abraham stated that these areas can all be enhanced “through the many different ways of interacting with animals”.
He added: “Children growing up with pets usually show higher self-esteem, improved social skills and attention spans, better non-verbal communication skills – even improved school attendance. They’re also more likely to be more emotionally stable, and apparently less likely to become criminals.”
According to Mr Abraham, children have to learn that all animals have different personalities, characteristics and traits, and these demand “recognition and respect”. Getting to grips with these issues is crucial if people are to provide effective pet care. Also, owners need to notice signs of pain and distress in their animals.
When parents are choosing pets for their children, they have to think about a range of issues. For example, they need to take cost into account and decide whether or not they can provide a suitable environment for the creatures in question.
Safety is another key point for mums and dads to think about. For example, certain creatures may pose a risk to youngsters and so are not suitable for family homes.