Ter­rific TOD­DLERS

EV­ERY­THING YOU NEED TO KNOW AS YOUR LIT­TLE ONE GROWS AND DE­VEL­OPS

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Medical Mum -

A child’s best friend

Hav­ing a pet in the home can help chil­dren in myr­iad ways, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study from the Univer­sity of Liver­pool and the Waltham Cen­tre. Grow­ing up with a pet can bring so­cial, emo­tional and ed­u­ca­tional ben­e­fits to chil­dren and young peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly if it’s a cat or dog, as they pro­vide the high­est lev­els of com­pan­ion­ship and sup­port.

“In both western and non-western cul­tures, pets may act as a form of psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port, help­ing youths feel good about them­selves and en­abling a pos­i­tive self-im­age,” says lead study au­thor Re­becca Pure­wall. Re­searchers say crit­i­cal ages for the im­pact of pet own­er­ship on self-es­teem in­clude chil­dren un­der the age of six.

Hav­ing a pet also helps chil­dren feel less lonely, as well as en­hanc­ing so­cial skills. “Com­pan­ion an­i­mals have the po­ten­tial to pro­mote healthy child de­vel­op­ment,” says re­searcher Nancy Gee.

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