The Importance of Teaching Compassion to Children
As a teacher and a dog lover, I am constantly searching for opportunities to share and model my compassion for animals in hopes that my students will acquire this same love!
I think that it is difficult for a small child to truly grasp the importance of an animal to the fullest extent, however, I believe if you set a foundation early on, they are more likely to grow and expand on that understanding of humanity.
Let’s start by looking at the golden rule: “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”
Now, I personally don’t see this rule being exclusively for humans. In my opinion, this applies to all things, no matter if they are furry or feathered.
I think first and foremost, every parent should include an animal into their family. I know that this is not always possible, however if a child grows up with a pet who is part of their family, then it is more likely for them to adopt their own love for animals. Children need to see the love that animals can bring and show towards humans. This immediately inclines kids to see animals as assets and not view them in fear or in negligence.
Secondly, be aware of the way you speak. Teach kindness by example. Listen to the way you talk to animals. Do you yell or talk badly to the furry creatures around you? Even if out of anger or annoyance, remember, your kiddo is a sponge and is always paying attention!!
Although not all families can have animals due to numerous reasons, this does not mean that a child cannot still be taught the value of animals. Allow your children to experience animals in all their worth. Give them opportunities to understand and witness animals in different ways. Whether that is going to your local shelter or visiting a farm. Help children learn the need we have for all living creatures, whether its for love, companionship, safety, guidance or even for food.
Obviously my obsession is consumed with dogs in particular, but I have an endless love and respect for all animals and know that each have their place and worth in our world. Whether you’re religious or not, everyone can agree that we need animals and that they were, in fact, put here for a reason. With that being said we need animals to survive, and therefore should give them the respect they deserve. Take the time to share the love animals need with your children, because remember, kids are always watching, observing and more importantly… learning.
I love this quote by Ghandi, it says...
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
Kids are in fact, our future and we are the ones in charge of guiding them to greatness.