Animals are sentient beings and deserve just as much love, care, and respect as you’d show to your fellow human beings. This is an important thing to teach your little ones from a young age. Showing your children how to be compassionate towards non-human animals not only helps them to grow into a kinder and more well-rounded person in general, but it can also improve their human interpersonal skills down the line. After all, if they are more likely to extend a caring hand towards furry, feathered, and finned beings, they are also more likely to extend a caring hand to one another. This is the kind of world that we want for them! So, here are few simple ways to teach your children to show compassion towards animals.
Visit a Children’s Farm
You want your child to experience as much of the world as possible! So it’s not surprising that you’ll want to expose them to animals beyond the realm of the domestic. Now, you may be tempted to take your child to a zoo, safari park, or aquarium to allow them to see a whole host of wild animals from overseas. But the problem here is that these animals should be wild, but are not. When it comes down to it, these facilities are cruel, and confined animals are generally unhappy animals, regardless of the quality of care that they receive. You don’t want your children to grow up believing that animals can be confined for the sole purpose of human entertainment. So, instead, take them to see more domesticated creatures who have plenty of room to roam about at places like Willows children’s farm. This way, they get to see animals they haven’t encountered before (such as cows, pigs, or alpacas), but in a fair and friendly environment.
Get a Pet
Now, it’s absolutely essential that you understand an animal’s needs before taking one on as your own. They are sentient beings, not toys, after all, and cannot be tossed aside once you or your children are bored with them. However, if you have the time and means to take a pet into your home, then definitely consider it! If possible, consider adoption, as there are plenty of loving companions out there in severe need of a caring home. Feeding and caring for a more vulnerable being teaches your kids a sense of responsibility. They can forge an immensely strong bond with another creature and learn to control their impulses better. For example, wanting to pet an animal, but restraining them from doing so too roughly for the sake of the animal’s comfort and well being. There are also plenty more benefits that come hand in hand with pet ownership, including better immune systems and a higher likelihood of your child playing outdoors with their pet and getting their recommended daily exercise.
These are just a couple of ways to introduce your children to animals while encouraging compassion and kindness. You could also try out smaller, daily changes to your lives, such as incorporating a meat-free day into every week. These are all things that are beneficial to you as a family unit and your little ones as they bloom into kind and caring individuals.