Notes on "Why the Wild Things Are"

Notes on "Why the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children" by Gail F. Melson (not "Nelson")

Why the Wild Things Are

We're getting better all the time, and our results prove it. Here are notes on a great book we are reading. Why is it often easier to love animals more than people?

  • Available (you don't see grandma every day, but you see your pets all the time)
  • Nurturing (even boys are allowed to nurture animals)
  • Touch
  • Non-evaluative
  • In the present (and unstructured)
  • Intimate dialog 

Noncomplicated relationship

  • You are not worried about:
    • Burnout
    • Reciprocity
    • Conflicting demands
  • The dog won't give up on them

Note: A child, especially, gets to practice how death works in real life

Benefits of an animal:

  • Social lubrication
  • Halo effect
  • Relaxation response
  • Heightened attention (focus)