For the modern, working families, pets often are NOT an option. It really isn’t fair leaving them for long hours alone at home.
Many medical reports indicate that early exposure to animals can have a long term effect! Fewer allergies are reported and the ability to feel compassion is stimulated.
Kindness to animals is stressed in my day care. Even toddlers can learn to be “easy” and they show an amazing ability to care.
Another effect animals have is the lesson of loss that they give. Losing a pet is very upsetting but is unfortunately a part of our life experience. Kids are able to process this and learn that grieving is alright.
I use my pets as mascots for emotions. Kids learn to be sensitive to their feelings and this leads to sensitivity for people. It isn’t always easy to be compassionate to someone who has taken a toy away or ignored you! Animals give a unique perspective when it comes to respecting others!
The preschool years are those where curiosity and character are initiated. Many criminals can be traced back to animal cruelties. The lessons of life that animals can teach our kids cannot be measured.
My granddaughter has been given a “hands on” with many creatures. I too had the advantage of being on my grandparents’ farm as a child. This experience has much to do with the person that I am proud to be.