It can sometimes be hard to make sure you're teaching your kids the right things, especially when they're faced with a difficult choice. Here are ten ways to teach kids about being kind to their pets and other animals with advice from parents on how this might be done.
1. Keep a Journal
Let your kids journal about their pets and about how well you're doing with teaching them. This is a great way for them to see how their behavior affects the lives of others. A journal can also help to reinforce good lessons because they'll see what they've done and what has really happened. You can get a special pet journal or create one using words of encouragement on the side of an old notebook.
2. Pretend Play
Pretend play is an easy way for kids to act out and focus on different situations. Let them act out the good and bad ways of treating animals, especially with their own pets. They can pretend to get their pet back if they lost it, or let them pretend that they have a pet that isn't “good” and see what they would do to change the situation.
3. Other Activities
When you're out shopping, think about other ways you could teach your children about the good and bad things they do to animals. You can always try to get them more into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership, like going to a farm or to a pet store, letting them pet and play with that teacup bulldog for sale, and seeing how the animals are raised. They can also get involved with animal shelters in their area and try to help out with things like adoption days.
4. Role Play
Role-playing can be a good way to get kids to learn that they shouldn't label animals as “good” or “bad.” Let them consider things from the perspective of an animal and then try to teach them that different animals have different personalities. If you have an old dollhouse, you can set up a scenario where different animals are trying to live together in peace.
5. Favorite Books
Let your children read some books that picture animals being good or bad or stories where animals help humans. When they read these books, try to talk about what kinds of things the creatures were doing that made them good or bad.
6. Puzzle Time
It can be helpful if you get your kids focused on a project related to animals. For example, create a puzzle out of the kinds of things they should do to treat animals kindly. For example, if they work on the puzzle, they might learn that it's kind of greedy not to share toys, or that it's tough when you want something very badly but it can really hurt someone else.
7. Activities to Teach About Animals
Instead of just letting your kids work on domestic animals like cats or dogs, try getting them interested in learning what other species are out there, which can be good conversations for future teachers or the protectors of animals. You can get a book on the topic and let them make up their own story of what they see in nature, while also learning about different species that they might encounter as they grow older.
8. Craft Time
Try to get your kids involved with craft time since they can be good at crafts and make a ton of good memories. They can also improve their hand-eye coordination by working with animals. There are different kinds of crafts that might work for them and their pets, so you can buy a whole bunch of things or just pick one or two.
9. Teach Them What Animals Need
If you really want your kids to help animals, teach them what animals need by teaching them about the needs of various species and trying to give that information in a way that makes it interesting and easy for them. You can do that by getting them books or videos about animals to help them get interested in these things. Teach them that animals need to be protected and that they need to be loved too.
10. Be a Role Model
If you want your kids to be kind, you need to lead by example. You can show them that you're kind through your choices, including the pets you own and how you treat them. If you make an effort to show how you treat them, your kids will start to be more interested in these kinds of things and might even want to be kind to their own pets.
It's important to remember that the most important thing you can do is show your children that you're kind and it will rub off on them, even if it doesn't look like it at first. With a little effort, they can learn to be kind, too.