As anyone who loves dogs knows, most humans have an instant connection with their canine friends. But there is just something different about the bond between dogs and kids—it’s just extra special for some reason. There are so many stories out there of dogs and children: dogs who comfort crying babies, and even children who comfort dogs who are upset by thunderstorms or loud fireworks. Experts are beginning to explore and try to understand the bond between kids and animals, specifically dogs. They say it could have a significant insight into child psychology. They believe there is already evidence to suggest that animals can help by positively impacting a child’s self-esteem.
It is also believed that dogs and other animals can teach children how to interact in social situations and can help positively impact their cognitive development as well. One thing that many people believe is a big reason for this bond is that being a kid can be fun and also quite frustrating. Children are trying to learn words and that can be a frustrating experience. For children who are headstrong and determined, they can be frustrated when they realize they are too young to do what they want or even have the ability to communicate their feelings. Dogs can help regulate a child’s mood by offering affection and helping humans remember they have a responsibility to care for an animal who is otherwise helpless.
Dogs can also help children gain empathy for others and foster self-esteem. Caring for a helpless animal helps children to understand that caring for a dog makes them feel good about themselves. It is a good lesson in kindness and even socialization to care for an animal who loves them in return. Dogs are patient and very forgiving, and many animal shelters have realized that bringing animals in to read to dogs is a great experience. The dogs get interaction from humans and the kids learn to read out loud to someone who won’t judge them if they make mistakes.
Just one more reason to love dogs!