WHEN VIEWING ON A MOBILE DEVICE -- DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM
Why Are Children So Interested In Animals, Anyway?
it immediately attracts attention and may seem “wrong” in a way that might
feel disturbing—a feeling we rarely have if a machine breaks down. We also
recognize coherence in our fellow humans, such as in a thirsty coworker ris-
ing from the lunch table to get a glass of water; her behavior and movements
are part of an organized system that moves with grace and fluidity. If that
coworker were a robot and moved with jerky motions and strange cacoph-
onous noises, she would lack the coherence that tells us she’s a fellow living
creature. Although children may not always understand animals’ behavior,
it makes intuitive sense.
Myers’s fourth quality is continuity. Repeated interactions with an animal
can become a relationship. Continuity, in particular, is important because it
allows a child to see himself, as a human being, as similar yet still different
from the other animal. The interactions between child and animal build on
one another and form the basis for a relationship: a connection between
that child and that animal. This is very important. Trust may develop as
relationships form (as might other feelings, depending on the interactions!).
Children may learn to predict an animal’s actions and responses, and an-
imals grow more comfortable with children over time and with repeated
interactions. Repeated interactions offer children a chance to simply practice relation-
ship building. Animals do things in response to a child’s behavior or actions.