The benefits of incorporating pets into family life from early childhood

The benefits of incorporating pets into family life from early childhood

My name is Camila, mom, entrepreneur and the person behind the @criarconpelos community. I have always been an animal lover, and today I share my house with several furry and furry animals that make up my family. The first to arrive was Brille, my border collie, my partner, and from whom I never left again. Then I met Diego, today the father of the pelados, and my accomplice in this adventure. He came with a wonderful yapa who is now 7 years old and who from minute one understood and accepted what it meant to be part of a family with hair. Soon more members would arrive with hair, on the one hand (Bluma, daughter of Brille, and the crazy cat Bast and the gifted Ruhe), and without hair, too: our bald man, Ingo, who is currently 2 years old, and who has come to confirm that our way of parenting is wonderful.

Not only has it been proven in our case that children who grow up with animals are less affected by allergies and respiratory diseases , but we have seen many other benefits of the early relationship between children and animals for both physical and mental health. and emotional of our children. For example, when Ingo was little and we were putting him in bed, he always tried to follow the dogs that walked in front of him. This stimulation caused him to begin to turn and move freely early on, without us having to do anything. And today they are a fundamental support to avoid a sedentary lifestyle , since we not only go out for a walk, but they are in constant movement playing with them. On an emotional level , when my children are discouraged, tired or sad, the dogs are the first to accompany them and contain them. They quickly realize that they are down, and the licking and the attempt to get a smile do not stop until they achieve it. The same goes for the other side. The last accident we had was a Bluma poisoning, and the children took turns being with her, accompanying her and treating her, but they also knew how to give her space to heal. These are moments that also allow us to talk with them more directly about life and death , which allows them to be more prepared for a birth, illness or death within the family. Likewise, animals can help us reduce stress and increase security . I saw this when I worked with Brille and Bluma in assisted therapy, and today we use it at home. For example, practicing a new skill (like reading, or doing a dissertation) in front of dogs instead of in front of parents can make them less embarrassed and thus give them more self-confidence to continue practicing. Last but not least is the benefit that having dogs means for the house, who quickly vacuum and mop under the table (and the Clak) once the naked kids finish eating.

But although multispecies breeding brings many benefits, I also want to highlight that it is a task that implies a great responsibility for adults, where we have to always be attentive and mediate each situation, protecting both furry and furry animals from possible risky situations. You should never trust yourself and you should always remember that neither children nor animals have the self-control to keep their instincts at bay, especially in uncomfortable situations.

In our philosophy, as probably in any other parenting style, respect is the foundation. In this there is no difference between animals and humans. Both furry animals and children have to learn the correct way to communicate and coexist based on respect. That is why our line has always been to teach and motivate a relationship of equality, following the principle of not doing what you would not like to be done to you. Empathy is a fundamental value in our house, and we have been able to see that children from a very young age can begin to develop it . The main thing is to know that our behavior will model that of our children much more than our words (teach by example) and that it is necessary to adjust our expectations to what our children are capable of understanding and learning at each stage of their development. Along the way, and until they can apply these principles well, it is our duty to protect our animals. By protecting our animals from our children in the beginning, we are protecting our children from our animals in the future.

For me it was always clear that the arrival of the children was going to make the pack grow and that we were going to have to each find our place in it. I have experienced the benefits of growing up among animals firsthand, so I had no doubts about it. What I didn't expect was the amount of negative comments I received during my pregnancy about it. It was shocking how naturally they asked me what I was going to do with my dogs when my son was born , whether I was worried that they would lick him whole, whether I was afraid that they were going to eat him (yes, they even told me that). . Moms and dads know that there is no shortage of unsolicited advice on parenting issues, and although it bothered me, I realized that it came from ignorance , and not from evil. This is how I decided to begin to make visible, raise awareness and break myths in relation to multispecies breeding . Thus, Criarconpelos was born to accompany and share experiences with other families who are in the same situation, and an incredible community of people who often felt very alone in their decision has been created and who today have more resources to generate parenting among children. and animals in a respectful way (for everyone).

Having a wonderful family with hair is possible, but it requires work and commitment. All of us who have animals want the wonderful photo of our furry and furry children together, and social networks can often make us believe that this happens naturally and that if it doesn't work for me I am doing something wrong. And this is not so. “Perfection” in this relationship does not mean that you are all best friends and hang out together all day, but it means that each one finds their place and feels comfortable with the other around. In my case, one of my dogs constantly seeks contact with children, and goes into their bed at night if she manages to go unnoticed. The other prefers her peace of mind, and comes over from time to time to see what is happening. And so we accept it. The same thing happens between brothers. That is why my main advice is to understand animals, respect them and not take them away. Unconditional love, fidelity and the enjoyment of seeing how children and their pets accompany each other will be a gift that will make all the effort worth it. In this house the animals are part of the family, and each one has their place.