Gables Montessori Blog

Children and pets

When the child is young, he shares abilities with his pet, especially because neither of them speaks and because, in a way, they are in the same physical situation. Then interaction behaviors are observed between them. This happens through the stares (which are easier because the child is small and crawls around), the postures, the intonations (babble of the child, meowing of the cat), the gestures.

Between 9 and 14 months the record of the behavior of the human baby is very close to that of the animal. But, even if it is almost ego in terms of nonverbal communication, the big difference lies in the fact that the animal, especially the dog, is better equipped than the child to decipher what his partner wants to tell him. The baby, on the other hand, is aware of some intentions of the animal but is not able to interpret them. Therefore, communication between the two is very intuitive.

 

Precautions when a baby and an animal live together

The first rule is to always be alert and never leave the child and the animal alone in a room. A cat can give it a blow or a dog push it, usually, pets are not aggressive, if they are, it is because they are in an awkward situation or feel unwell.

Dogs stick their tails between their legs, crouch their ears and cats sniff or curl up. Adults have to be alert to detect those signs that the child cannot decipher, but to avoid reaching this point, it is essential that Parents play their role as educators in front of the child and in front of the animal. They have to explain to the little one that the animal is not a toy, that it is different from us. That means you have to know how to tell the child not to disturb the cat that sleeps on the couch, for example. Similarly, you have to set limits on the animal.

Finally, you have to impose some hygiene rules: wash your hands after touching the animal, avoid licking and sleeping together and, above all, control the health of the animal by taking it to the veterinarian at least once a year.

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