Be Kind to Animals Week overlaps with Children's Book Week. Kids can learn kindness to animals via reading. They also learn kindness through observation and interaction. During this special time, we can encourage children, other adults, as well as ourselves to be a bit kinder … and to read more.
There are many wonderful books available for children about animals. Within those pages, they can learn how to take care of animals as well as how pets take care of people. For a listing of great children's books about pets, visit http://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/5877-top-10-kid-friendly-pet-books and http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Childrens-Pet/zgbs/books/2853.
“Teach the children well,” are words in a Crosby, Stills and Nash song (see a YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVaqZajq-I). Teaching children kindness toward people and pets offers great rewards for those kids, including opportunity to do good in a community and the opportunity to make new friends. In fact, according to a research study called Kindness Counts, “When kids performed acts of kindness or took notice of the pleasant places they visited, their happiness quotient increased ... (and) … they gained an average of 1.5 friends during the month-long period” (see related article at http://www.rootsofaction.com/art-kindness-teaching-children-care/).
What are some ways we can be kind to pets and people, and how can we more greatly instill kindness in others, including children? The list of ideas is endless, but here are some suggestions:
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.