“Teach the children well,” are words in a song by Crosby, Stills and Nash (see the YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVaqZajq-I). Teaching children kindness toward people and pets offers great rewards, including opportunity to do good in a community and opportunity for children 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/).
The annual “Be Kind to Animals Week,” sponsored by the American Humane Association, is May 3 – 9, 2015. It's been 100 years since the creation of this specially-designated week. It's a week that provides parents, communities, and animal welfare organizations with opportunities to encourage kindness in children ... as well as adults.
Here are five ways to be kind to animals not only during this special week, but all throughout the year:
Open the floodgates of kindness toward pets and people during Be Kind to Animals Week and let it continue throughout your lifetime, teaching children empathy and compassion, and thereby impacting their lives -- and yours -- for the better.
It's Be Kind to Animals Week, a time set aside by the American Humane Association and other organizations to promote kindness to animals. This is a great time to reinforce to children the importance of kindness, not only to animals, but also to other people.
In this day and age of bullying, child neglect, anger, violence and other issues, re-inforcing the concept of kindness is critical. Children are vulnerable, children are teachable – they often emulate what they witness in adults within the sphere of influence.
Therefore, we adults need to take stock not only in how we treat our kids, but also how we treat other adults and how we interact with pets in our own household, as well as within our community.
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) offers some tips for celebrating Be Kind to Animals Week with children. For example, you and your kids can volunteer together at a local shelter or rescue. Although you may not be able to walk dogs, you can hold a bake sale or a collection drive, taking in donations of money and items necessary to run the shelter. Inquire at your local humane society or animal shelter (1) what their volunteer guidelines are and/or (2) what items they currently need. Another idea: spend time together as a family with your own pet – take a walk, play in the park, or toss a ball in your backyard for awhile. Pets need social interaction with their human families; remember to take good care of your pets and involve your children in that care. Your children may want to start a Kind Club with their friends and develop projects to help the homeless animals of your community.
Every year, nearly 7 million animals enter shelters across this nation. What can you and your family do to help these homeless creatures and the people who care for them? You and your children can positively impact your community, and therefore, the nation, by showing kindness to animals, and to other people.
Find some other tips for teaching and sharing kindness at http://behumane.org/component/content/article/2-uncategorised/82-be-kind-to-animals
“Teach your children well,” are part of the lyrics of a Crosby, Stills and Nash song. Those are words we can all live by, so let's teach our children, and ourselves, to be kind to others, both animals and people – when we do, we can all live in a better world.