Video: Four-legged Mediators - Society
Our 20-year-old daughter has been living separately from us since this summer. And the first thing she decided to do was to get a toy terrier: Liza always dreamed of a dog, but we did not allow it. Lisa's young man fully supports her and decided to take a dog for the company, so that the first one would not be bored. They gathered to keep two dogs in one apartment. And we, to admit, are horrified by this idea, after all there will be nothing left from the repair!
Larisa, 41 years old
The answers to many of our questions about keeping pets should be sought simultaneously in the behavior of the animals themselves and in the processes that are taking place in the family at the moment. In a family, everyone is interconnected with everyone and the actions of its members are aimed at preserving it as a single system, and a pet, becoming a “family member”, also begins to perform the functions of maintaining its balance.
Psychologists have found that the overwhelming majority of families go through similar stages of development - this is primarily due to a change in their structure. The family changes when children are born, grow up, leave and have their own families, older family members die. In times of change like this, rebuilding relationships is necessary, and it takes effort from everyone.
In our case, the family goes through a natural “normative crisis”. The daughter has grown up, and the parental family must change: the relationship between the remaining family members in such a situation cannot but be rebuilt. The girl began to live independently, and the increase in the interpersonal distance with her is perceived by her parents as painful, and can cause them unconscious strong anxiety. Many parents are often not ready, do not want, cannot part with their child, they continue to interfere in his life, try to continue to guide him, unconsciously suggesting that he cannot yet take care of himself on his own. Sometimes parents begin to discredit the acquaintances of their adult child ("contacted bad company"), anxiously track his possible illnesses, instilling in him hypochondriacal attitudes ("you need to take care of yourself, you are so weak"). Or they persistently tell their grown children that they are not yet capable of independent life ("you cannot earn money"), they convince them of the dangers of the world around them ("people are evil, and you are so inexperienced and trusting").
The “horror” that your daughter and her boyfriend decided to have dogs may be due to your unwillingness to let your daughter decide how to arrange her life and improve relationships with others.
The normal psychological need of young people at this age is to go beyond their family, to “build” their uniqueness. Often, children try to assert their adulthood, defending their own way of life. Lisa always dreamed of getting a dog, her parents did not allow her, defending her independence, she decides to buy a puppy.
Lisa and her partner are just starting to live together. This is a very important time for a nascent family, as during this period "marriage contracts" are concluded - open and unspoken agreements on the rules by which a married couple will live. Partners learn to negotiate and establish family roles. The beginning of an independent life often causes anxiety in young people, which is far from always being realized and can manifest itself in different ways. One of the most common ways to reduce anxiety in a couple is to project it onto the child. However, the same function can be performed by a pet, which is given birth at this difficult time. Often a dog or cat becomes intermediaries in communication: now there is a common subject of care, conversations, joint efforts. You can persistently ask not for yourself, but for your pet,in relation to him it is safer to show emotions, you can discuss "dangerous topics", referring not directly to the partner, but to the dog or cat, assuming that the one to whom it was intended will certainly hear.
Considering the current situation from the point of view of the well-being of dogs, they will be more comfortable living together, especially if young people are away from home for a long time. However, this is not a fundamentally important condition. Perhaps in this situation you should not have dogs of different sexes. In any case, the decision on whether to have pets or not, and the answer to the question "Why have them?" remain with young people. The only thing that can be said is that it will be difficult or even impossible to convince them. Along with the opportunities that pets will bring to the family, there will be a number of obligations and restrictions for their owners. However, as our research shows, it is for this that they sometimes have pets. As for the repair, it will certainly suffer.