Cultivate Your Child’s “E.Q.” With a Pet During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, parents may be concerned about what impact a lack of socializing may have on their child’s emotional development during remote learning. While your child may not be able to spend “in-person” time with their human best friend, hanging with a furry best friend is a great way to cultivate your child’s Emotional Intelligence — the ability to identify, control and evaluate emotions — during the pandemic.
Whether you have a dog, cat, hamster or even a fish, family pets can help children develop skills that raise their Emotional Intelligence and provide companionship when kids are isolated from their peers and extended family during the pandemic. High E.Q. (Emotional Quotient) is linked to school success, and having a pet can raise your child’s E.Q. by teaching:
Compassion and caring for others: Animals provide unconditional love, but also have needs that must be met by humans. While adults must do most daily pet care, young children can help too by filling water bowls or brushing the pet. Caring for animals helps children develop responsible behavior and empathy by connecting with other living things.
How to “read people”: Pets communicate without words. Discussing how animals “speak” through body language teaches children to read signs such as tail wagging to understand different moods and feelings. Reading and understanding animals’ non-verbal cues help children learn to “read” people as well.
Social skills and self-control: Curious toddlers learn self-control and gentleness when petting a furry friend. A dog is a natural “ambassador”; walks help children develop social skills and get exercise.
How to calm down: Nonjudgmental and stable, pets can help children feel secure, which is more important than ever during the pandemic when feelings of uncertainty may be high.