TALKING TO YOUR KIDS....about animal cruelty.
Our pets seem to know how we feel....from the smallest mouse to the biggest horse. They give comfort when we're hurt, and make us happy when we're sad. They are a part of our joys, and are by our side when times are bad.
Some people are mean to animals though. So...how do we explain this to children?
Animal Cruelty has a very big impact on society in general.
Animals feel pain and suffer fear like us, but they are often helpless victims because they can't talk.
Some animal abusers choose to do this for this reason! To create a humane society, we must stop cruelty against those who are the most vulnerable... our animal friends.
Animals experience pain and suffer fear. People who commit animal abuse have serious psychological problems. Studies have shown that many people convicted of violent crimes had histories of animal cruelty....Dahmer, Bundy, "Son of Sam", and the "Boston Strangler" were all cruel to animals before they moved on to hurting people. Adults humans arent the only ones though, as many murderous children and teenagers like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine High School have background histories of animal cruelty.
Studies have shown animals in homes, that have family violence are also often victims of violence. Although most of the abuse toward the animals came from the adults there, many of the abused children often abuse their animals.
Can we do anything about the cruelty issues...? Animal cruelty is a worldwide problem. Violence towards animals crosses all racial and socioeconomic lines. Working together.. to bring awareness, no matter where we live, is very impotrtant, as there is a lot we all can do to stop animal cruelty.
1/ EDUCATION...is one of the most powerful tools we have for preventing cruelty to animals. We have to plant the seeds of kindness in children early, and to nurture their development as they grow. Children not only need to learn what they shouldn't do, but also what they can and should do. When children see that their pets are happy and loving, it will makes them feel good, too. This in turn helps the child to care for their pets' feelings.
Many adults need education, too....as they too.. arent always aware of their actions. We need to urge schools to start teaching basic humane education...to bring back simple kindness into classrooms. There are many programs, education materials etc available to use. Plenty of good ideas and activities are also able to be found on the Internet. We have to start creating a new younger generation, of kind ,decent animal loving humans.
Caution, and careful thought is needed when discussing cruelty with children. It has been shown that children under four years of age, are best not exposed to cruelty. Children need to begin to learning that their actions make others-including animals-happy and sad. They need to discuss their own experiences, and how they would feel, if they were treated the way they treat their pets or others.. in their daily lives.
2/ Handling their pets.. all young children, need a bit of adult hands on guidance, with learning how to pet and hold their pets. Children often have little control over their fine movements and impulses, so a little help from adults.. to do it correctly, is very beneficial.
Teaching our children to understand basic moral concepts, such as fairness. Children can learn to be kind to animals because animals "deserve" it.
Dont get into much detail about how animals are hurt.. try to limit discussions of animal cruelty to the simple fact that animals can be hurt...and we must show kindness.
With older children....we can begin to discuss why someone might be mean to an animal. Keeping in mind that it is wrong to hurt animals...and to stress this. Its important to not let discussions of animal cruelty satisfy the morbid curiosity some children have. Children often form some of their earliest memories and impressions about our world etc..from their families. Adults need to filter lots of what children perceive. Children often ..through the media, witness violence and can be strongly affected by it.
Studies show that children aged over 10yrs.. are strongly affected by violence, so discussions about animal cruelty should still be kept free of details about the actual violence. We as adults are role models ..and should make it clear that we dont condone violence in our own thoughts and behaviors.
Parents, teachers, and trusted adults can should also discuss with the over 10year-olds how they would act if their peers or friends treated animals cruelly. These children may encounter other children abusing animals, so let them know they.. will be supported for standing up to any abuse they see.. its very important...to let them know about trust and who they can rely on to help.
3/ The importance of modeling appropriate behaviors. Children often emulate us, even if they wouldn't admit it. If we treat animals cruelly, our children will probably think that this is right or, at least, normal. The more a child identifies with an adult, the greater an impact that person will have on the child-in both good ways and bad ways.
LETS START NURTURING A NEW GENERATION...of kind, animal loving humans.
Educate your children...that ANIMAL ABUSE IS WRONG!
19th Feb 2010.