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5 Ways to Teach Children About Animals

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Children and animals are both gifts to this world, and as a parent, you want your children to learn about and enjoy animals that they encounter. However, these encounters aren't always pleasant. Here are 5 ways to teach children about animals.

Educate

Children learn to identify animals and animal sounds when little. Teach them more, such as which animals are dangerous and which ones are safe. This will help them learn how to interact with animals in a constructive way. Part of this education is for you too. You need to learn what to expect from children and not to push them before they are developmentally ready.

Start Small

You don't want to overwhelm your child or the animals. This is why you should start small when introducing your children to different pets. Start with unintimidating animals, such as hamsters or playful puppies and create a safe and inviting environment. Ideally, your child will have a good experience and continue to have more positive interactions as they are exposed to new creatures.

Chores

Animals, especially pets, require care. Children can learn about animals by helping to take care of them. This will make animal care a regular part of life and help your child learn responsibility for caring for them. Some simple child-friendly chores include:

  • cleaning up after your pet
  • feeding your pet regularly
  • walking your pet
  • brushing or grooming your pet
  • going with you to the vet
  • playing with the pet

Ensure a Safe Environment

Your child may not be aware what signs indicate an animal is uncomfortable or fearful. They may also not be clear on which animals are safe to play with and which ones should be left alone. It's your responsibility to carefully watch all interactions your child has with an animal until they are ready to interact with them on their own. If something does turn sour, you can step in to deescalate the situation before it turns into something dangerous.

Work With Animals Outside the Home

Sometimes, it is not possible to have animals in your home because of various different restrictions. If you are in this situation, you can show your child that we as humans should help the furry, scaly, and feathery creatures out there by organizing your own animal-centric events. Consider hosting something like a dog benefit to get your children comfortable with animals outside the home.

All the planet's creatures deserve love. It's up to us as parents to instill a good relationship between our children and animals so that our children will grow up to promote the same values that we do.

About the Author: 

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

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