How To Teach Children To Be Kind To Animals
Show love and care:
Start with your children when they are young. If an animal is sick, teach them to nurture and care for it. If an animal is hungry, show them how to feed it. If an animal is looking for attention, show them how to give it love.
Encourage children to respect animals and learn about their habitats. Teach them to be gentle with the animal. “Gentle” is a word parents need to repeat when it comes to animals. Some kids will naturally use a soft touch, while others will want to grab or pinch or pull. Teach your kids to pet furry animals in the direction their hair goes and to avoid touching sensitive areas. Teach children not to pull on tails. Tails might look like something fun to play with for a child but that animal might not enjoy it.
Use a gentle touch:
This should go without saying, but little kids can sometimes get a little vigorous with their “patting.” Again, use “gentle touch,” and show them how it’s done.
Do not taunt:
Teach your child that taunting or throwing things at an animal is not funny and the animal definitely won’t like it. None of us like to be bullied and the same goes for an animal. Teach your child to never scream in an animals face. What is excitement to a child is not to an animal.
Teach children about an animal’s body language:
Teach kids that animals who are scared will try to protect themselves. If an animal is trying to get away, let it go. Don’t chase after it, even if you want it to come back. Hissing and growling are obvious signs that an animal is upset or scared.
Observe animals in the wild and their habitats:
Take children to the zoo or a wildlife refuge so they can see animals in their own environment and how they interact with each other. Teach them about animal life and how those in the wild survive. Show them that not respecting these habitats can hurt the animals. Teach them that animals have personalities and feelings like human beings and will protect their own, especially their young.
Provide books and movies:
Letting children watch movies about animals and read books can help them learn. Make it fun by asking questions about what they have learned. Play games that are pet related.
Take them to a museum:
Teach them about how animals were created and let them learn about the history and the evolution of animals.
Shelters and fundraisers:
I recently had a conversation with someone who has a small child who wants a dog but they don’t have time for it. I suggested they take her to the animal shelter so she could learn how to clean and care for a pet and to spend time with the animals reading to them or playing with them.
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