My mom grew up with a cat and a dog named T.C. and Sandy (guess who was who?) Growing up with these two fur siblings instilled in her a sense of respect, love, and responsibility for them from a very early age. Ever since, animals have always been in her life. My dad didn’t grow up with animals at all really, but when my folks adopted me, I stole his heart, and he’s never been the same since! My adoption got them thinking, what if every child grew up with an animal, or had the opportunity to connect with animals? Would it make them kinder? More empathetic?
Many studies prove this to be the case, and it would serve our society well to actively help turn children into animal lovers and advocates.
Three simple steps to inspire kindness
Here’s three simple steps to create the next generation of animal lovers:
- Visit a local shelter with your children, or those close to you (checking with the shelter in advance). Be sure to help them understand why the animals are there. If you decide to introduce an animal into your life, please be sure to adopt rather than buy from a pet store. There are millions of homeless animals in shelters across the country, waiting for their forever homes.
- If you already have a family fur member, then give the children some responsibility for looking after them. Perhaps they get to feed them in the mornings or evenings. Or maybe they are responsible for some gentle play time each day. Children should always know they need to respect animals. For example, if an animal is sleeping or wants to be left alone, they shouldn’t be interrupted.
- Introduce children to books and movies that present learning opportunities while ensuring entertainment value. Our purpose in launching the Hello, My Name is Bunny! book series is to help kids understand the power and value of kindness, and how they can practice it every day to help make the world a better place.
Not every child is naturally empathetic towards animals. That’s why these simple steps really can help them see the world in a different light. Who knows, they may become the Jackson Galaxy or Kitten Lady of the future!
Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO