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Teaching kids to be kind to animals

(Simple acts of compassion to help animals)

(Last of 3 parts)

A world of positive energy does wonders for us, specially our kids.

Where love, kindness, patience, understanding and specially COMPASSION surround us, we, specially our children and grandchildren, feel good.  This feeling contributes to our overall well-being. This makes us healthy.

Simple acts of compassion towards humans—our sick friends, depressed relatives, orphaned children or homeless persons—evoke gratefulness in those we help. This gratefulness is a positive energy that balances the negative energy in the world we move in.

Animals are grateful beings too.

Teaching kids to be kind to animals

They are easier to please and they know how to show gratefulness, not just feel it. They emit the most positive energy that will either “eat” the negative energy around you, or at the very least, balance the negative energy so that you do not get sick or stressed out. Their gratefulness and love “tonifies” your  environment.

I read somewhere that compassion is similar to  a muscle.  The more you work it, the stronger it gets.

One way to work out that “muscle” called compassion is to teach our kids to be kind to animals.

3. Teach kids to be compassionate towards animals

In the article “5 Ways To Teach Your Kids Compassion Towards Animals” in naturespath.com, Katie Chiavarone  said:

“Kids innately have an attraction and a desire to care for animals. Given this foundation, there are many ways in which we can instill an even greater love and respect for animals in our children.”

She added: “Not only does this compassion and care for creatures benefit the animals of the world, but it also builds character and helps our children develop into well-rounded human beings that approach the world with a concern and respect for others. This love for animals actually teaches kids how to treat one another, and how to be integral components of society.”

To foster love for animals, Chiavarones suggested the following:

A. VOLUNTEER

“Help your child extend mercy and care for animals that have been injured or that need a home. There are plenty of worthwhile organizations that would love to have extra hands helping out!” she said.

There are a lot of animal welfare groups with homes for rescued dogs and cats. Do find out about them and visit them.

Some  volunteers have celebrated their birthdayin these homes and donated food and medicine to rescued animals.

Kids learn to express love by holding a dog who has been abandoned and who licks you endlessly and asks for belly rubs, tails wagging, when you show them love.

B. MODEL EMPATHY

“Children learn by example. By modeling care and concern for how animals might feel in a number of situations, you will notice that your kids will begin to express similar concerns. Avoiding negative talk about disliking different animal species, and ensuring that we are not speaking poorly about our own pets at home is also an important component in modeling compassionate behavior,”  said Chiavarone.

While in homes for  rescued animals, show your kid  how to be kind. Talk to the animals who were rescued from abuse and neglect and tell the dogs or cats “I love you. You are safe now.”

This will teach your kid to be expressive and your kid will also be programmed that he or she is also loved and safe as he or she hears these words all the time.

Animal welfare advocates will tell you which dogs or cats have been rehabilitated and can be touched.  Ask though if all dogs and cats in the said shelter or sanctuary have been given the anti-rabies shot.

Teaching your kid to be kind to animals is the first step to teaching your kid empathy.

C. READ

“Find books with animals as main characters. Kids will identify with the issues and feelings that the animals express, and will feel a care and concern for the characters in the book. Additionally, there are many books in which animals can be the ‘helper’. This shows children that animals can provide a depth to a relationship that extends beyond a unilateral caretaker/provider human-animal relationship. Animals can provide friendship and companionship to people as well, “ Chiavarone stressed.

D.  EXPOSE THEM TO ANIMALS IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Chiavarone said: “Instilling a love of animals in your kids means showing respect for all animals. This goes beyond common household pets…”

She suggested visiting a farm with animals but please ask the owner which animals can be touched.

You can also bring your kid on a nature walk, or bird watching.

These, Chiavarone said, “are all great ways to expose children to animals beyond what they might typically have exposure to.”

E. SUPPORT ANIMAL-FRIENDLY COMPANIES

This, to me, is very important. At an early age, please teach your children not to be materialistic and to learn to help others in need by simply letting go of any need  for a material thing that may have caused harm to another being.  This exercise will actually help you raise a well-balanced, principled, and genuinely loving and kind child.

“Research companies with your kids to find those that treat their animals humanely, that avoid product testing on animals, and that support animal organizations and rescues, “ Chiavarone said.

She added: “In taking the time to help, being a positive role model, and in supporting others who treat animals with kindness and compassion, we can be instrumental in really fostering a true love for animals in our kids.”

Topics: animals , compassion
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