01-06-09, 05:48 PM #1
Kids and pets
Do kids need pets? Has there ever been a study done that shows the mental/emotional maturity of kids who had pets vs kids who didn't?
I was just wondering because I saw a show where prison inmates do well when they are raising animals.
01-06-09, 06:29 PM #2
I would think that children would not need pets. Take a look at the world and show me where other countries kids have pets, there's not many that do besides America. I think pets are just another way to make money. I don't mean that to make anyone upset but just as a fact. Seems that if children have good, caring parents, friends and neighbors they have enough to do without a pet also. Children can learn about life and death, caring and kindness from other people just as they can with pets. Many times kids will not take care of their pets and the parents must then do the care of them.
As for inmates, anything to do I would think on the inside of a prison would be helpful to them to pass the time away. However having to take care of a pet isn't what prisoners are put into jail for, they are there to do time without any nice things around them so that they don't want to return to prison any more. Those serving life sentences are an exception I would think or those doing long periods of time like over 25 years. The pets then would only be taken to them on a day at a time basis I would think then taken away at night for prisons aren't meant for animals to be taken care of and fed .
01-06-09, 06:35 PM #3
01-07-09, 03:13 AM #4
01-07-09, 06:59 AM #5
01-07-09, 07:06 AM #6
01-07-09, 11:25 AM #7
01-07-09, 11:26 AM #8
01-07-09, 02:25 PM #9
I think pets are great for anyone, but I'm an animal lover. If you're kids don't like animals or are afraid of them then having a pet isn't a very good idea. As the pet nor your child will be very happy.
01-07-09, 02:28 PM #10
No, this isn't about me.
Its about the health of the child. Any child. Are kids mentally healthier if they have a pet? Does it help in their development?
01-07-09, 02:42 PM #11
01-07-09, 04:01 PM #12
i dont know about emotionally but kids with pets (dogs and cat type pets specifically rather than fish and what not) have less allergies and are less likly to get Asthma. Futher more there have been studies done on the elderly and the seriously ill (terminal cancer pts from memory) with pets which show lower levels of mental illness and higher levels of quality of life. Anacdotally i find watching my fish to be calming when i start having a panic atack and this is why both psycologists and dentists tend to have fish tanks in their waiting rooms
Concidering this i cant really see a down side for giving pets to kids
01-10-09, 10:12 PM #13
I have argued before that when Mesolithic human clans learned to live in peace with members of another species, it helped them imagine learning to live in peace with other clans. After living as isolated nomadic tribes for hundreds of thousands of years, humans joined with dogs to form the first multi-species community, and just a couple of thousand years later they were building civilizations.
Every child should have a dog. Dogs are a civilizing influence. Look at the places in the world where people live without dogs. From the inner cities of America where life is too crowded and squalid to have pets, to the cesspools of religious fundamentalism where dogs are regarded as "dirty," these are the most uncivilized people in their region.
In many places where people don't have space or money to take care of a full-sized pet, they keep birds.
Everywhere there is sufficient prosperity, people have pets. No one loves their animals as much as the British. Europeans are allowed to take their dogs with them into museums and cafes. Japanese have small pets like birds in their small living quarters. In most countries, when people reach the middle class and have discretionary income, one of the things they spend it on is pets. In China people rent them.
01-10-09, 11:08 PM #14
My older son has an allergy to cats. We had a cat and had to get rid of it because he quickly started sneezing, getting stuffed up and his eyes were watering. We later in life got a puppy with very short hair and he very quickly showed the same symptoms with it and he had to bring it to the humane society. We have Bruce and he has short hair but he was never allergic to him it's strange. He also has a slight case of Asthma that kicks in only when he gets a bad cold or the flu. When he gets one and starts endless coughing, he will take his puffers. He doesn't need them at any other time though. He was fine until he developed Bronchitis at age 2-3 and after that he developed it. I have known quite a few kids with same situation, that it shows up with any kind of cold or flu.
01-10-09, 11:13 PM #15
Sounds like your child is the problem, not the pets, make a new one.
01-11-09, 03:01 PM #16
01-13-09, 12:07 PM #17
01-17-09, 10:24 PM #18
This is an excerpt from last week's Parade magazine. Parade is hardly a paragon of science, but these are all good points and any thoughtful dog lover will probably testify to several of them. Here are some of the ways dogs can help children (and adults but it's better to start young) become better human beings:
- Live in the moment. Dogs never regret the past or worry about the future. They can help you learn to appreciate the richness of what's happening here and now.
- Nurture a balanced life. Give and receive some exercise, discipline and affection every day.
- Trust your instincts. Dogs don't care about words. They recognize that interactions take place beneath the surface, reading nonverbal cues such as body language and energy level.
- Be direct and consistent. People who only enforce rules intermittently leave their dogs confused about what is acceptable behavior. Great relationships begin with clear and consistent communication. We teach people--and dogs--how to treat us.
- Learn to listen. Everybody counts. Lend an ear to those you love, those who want to transform their lives, those with problems. But don't take everything personally and don't try to fix everything.
- Don't hold grudges. Dogs resolve disagreements when they arise and then move on. Holding onto negative feelings makes them multiply and they prevent us from moving forward.
- Live with purpose. A dog who is bored will develop issues ranging from anxiety to depression. When given a job that contributes to the family's well-being they turn around almost immediately. All animals including humans have an inborn need to work for their sustenance and security. We all feel better when we contribute.
- Celebrate every day. Every morning is Christmas morning to a dog. Every walk is the best walk and every meal is the best meal. Rejoice in life's simplest moments and appreciate the gifts that are hidden in ordinary events.
Every child should grow up with a dog.
12-16-09, 12:05 PM #19
I feel happier for having my cat. I'm not sure why.
I think having an animal to nurture also makes me less aggressive and angry.
Every child should grow up with a dog.
For some strange reason, I remember them as these huge black wolf-like canines, though they were actually only small mongrels. Maybe it was just because I was only small and I don't remember that time clearly.
Might be why I have a thing for wolves and wolf-like dogs.
12-16-09, 12:48 PM #20
Animals see the unobstructed
world with their whole eyes.
But our eyes, turned back upon
themselves, encircle and
seek to snare the world,
setting traps for freedom.
The faces of the beasts
show what truly IS to us:
we who up-end the infant and
force its sight to fix upon
things and shapes, not the
freedom that they occupy,
that openess which lies so deep
within the faces of the animals,
free from death!
the full text, translated by robert hunter. we adapted bits of this translation for the prelude to an epic song, "the open," a few years back.
AND, if that does not convince one of the magnificence of dogs, consider this extract from one of the talmudic commentaries (can't recall the specifics, and i'm not feeling inclined to rifle through dozens of notebooks to "source" it):
hashem granted unto kayen (that's cain, for the gentiles amongst us) a dog, as both a mark of protection and for a companion to accompany him in his idyllic wanderings in the land of nod. of course, there's a bit of irony here as well: the dog would not simply protect kayen by virtue of his awesome viciousness; rather, he would keep bandits and wrong-doers at bay by virtue of his loathesomeness (dogs are "unclean") to the semites--so, a blessing and a curse.
anyhow, through his relationship with his dog, kayen discovered that one is never truly alone--for there is always an other. and this dog taught kayen many skills and crafts to bide his time: writing ala "marking, singing ala howling, and of course, how to "read" the land.
the dog is our ambassador, or intermediary, to the wild; from which we've come to more and more rapidly distance ourselves from over generations. and the dog is a continual reminder that the instinctual is not something to be disdained, or regarded as somehow "inferior," but rather simply an essential aspect of ourselves which we ought not to suppress or ignore.
that said, i don't think every kid should have a dog, or another "pet," simply because most parents are neglectful, ignorant, and irresponsible with regards to animals. i trained dogs for years--with my "patented" ordinary language technique --but abandoned the profession not because of the dogs, but because of their people: most people can't read dogs and their infuriating resistance to the notions that dogs are possessed of extraordinary intelligence (their ability to translate interspecies is testimony to this), have metalinguistic and abstraction capabilities, are highly amenable to learning, and demand respect pissed me off to no end. in fact, there are only a few people in the world whom i would trust to care for my dog for a few days, were i to travel somewhere which she could not.
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