Animal lovers are naturally inclined to pass down the love of animals to their children, but this isn’t always the case. Perhaps you don’t own pets, or you have adopted a child who is not accustomed to the company of animals. Either way, you can still foster a love of animals in your child or children by doing simple things that help encourage respect and admiration within your family.
Instilling a love for pets within the youth is important as it teaches them to be kind, thoughtful and establish a respect for all life on earth. The respect of animals can also sway violent and illegal behavior towards animals as well as impress on them a sense of community and charity. There are many more reasons to introduce and instill a love for animals and pets within your child, but let us start with the basics.
Often, due to living arrangements or location, families are not able to own pets, and this can be difficult as they cannot set good examples for children to learn by. Luckily, you don’t have to own an animal to set a good example!
Arranging trips to aquariums, conservation centers or zoos can be the first step in teaching your child about animals and why they should be revered. Educational camps and animal welfare societies often offer programs to schools and families to assist in the understanding and conservation of domestic and wildlife.
Wildlife and pet videos are available online which are of educational value to the entire family which also doubles up as a night of entertainment occasionally. Make a bowl of popcorn, find an animal-centered series and binge watch it together.
Volunteer at a Shelter
Volunteering once or twice a year at an animal rescue center or shelter is also another great way to introduce your children to the responsibility needed to care for a pet. Not only is this an excellent way of introducing your children to animals, but it helps the shelter out with community service aspects.
Once your child has gained a love for animals and pets, recommend a class collection project that their peers can participate in. The collection of needed items such as pet food, bedding and toys will always be welcome at a shelter and can be good publicity for the school too.
Use Animal Themes
A fun way of keeping within the beloved pet theme is to create online animal cards which you can use for invitations, birthday or get-well cards. Creating popular cat and dog memes online will not only accomplish your goal of respect and love for pets but also keep your teens entertained! Win-win.
Besides the creative ways of bringing the love of animals into the lives of your children, the very first place to start is by being a mindful teacher. Setting a good example at home and when out in public with animals is the best way for small children to watch, learn and imitate respect for animals and pets in general.