How to Teach Your Kid to be an Animal Lover

By Mommy Donna and Kib - June 02, 2020

One of the things that I wanted Kib to be is that he has a heart for living all living things (plants and animals).  Being a nature lover myself, I want Kib to learn how to take care of the environment.

As young as a year old, I already exposed Kib to different animals. His first pet was a hamster, then a rabbit, fish, and now we have a dog (see related blog posts here and here). 

By letting Kib to be exposed to different kinds of animals, I also gave him an opportunity to learn about these animals and see animals that we don't see on a normal basis. We learn about these animals together.

In addition, exposing Kib to different animals taught him to be emphatic. He learned about the sad plight of some of the animals in the world.

Taking care of pets also gave Kib a sense of responsibility.

There are some parents who do not have penchant over animals but would like their kids to be one... but how?

Here are some tips for you that I personally tried and tested:

Bring your child to the zoo. The best way to expose a child to different kinds of animals is to bring him/her to a zoo. Bringing a child to a zoo at an early age gives a child an opportunity to be acquainted with the different animals. If there is a chance to touch the animals, let your child touch them so that he/she knows the different textures of animal coverings. 

When you bring your child to the zoo, say the name of the animal, it also helps that you also give some information about the animals so that your child will learn more about the animal.

Try to go to different zoos as not all zoos have the same animals in their sanctuary. 

Do not show that you're afraid of a certain animal. I know this is difficult for you not to show disgust or fear towards the animals but bear in mind that FEAR IS LEARNED. My son likes snakes, but I don't. He would even touch crocodiles (with supervision from the experts), but you won't force me to even pose beside that animal. I would simply tell the animal handler that I will take photos instead (with a smile).

Before, my son is scared of dogs. He doesn't like playful dogs, but he would touch dogs who are just lying down. Since I like dogs, I showed that dogs are nice animals. I would even encourage him to pet the dogs we see in parks and shopping malls (with permission from the owner).

The only animal that my son is scared of is frog because I'm scared too, hahaha. I just can't be cool when there's a frog around.

So parents, try to keep your cool when you want to introduce an animal to your kid, no matter how scared you are. You may also want to try conquering your fear too!

Go to museums to learn about prehistoric animals. Sometimes, there are animals that we cannot see anymore. Visiting museums to know about these extinct animals is also a good venue to learn about it. In addition to that, museums also include preserved animals that are still existing at the present time. There might be a chance not to see these animals in real life.

Have a pet. The most practical way to introduce animals to your child is to have one! Having a pet at home will not only teach your kid about the animal but it also teaches values, like responsibility and care for living things.

My son had a hamster, rabbit, and fish in the past, and now, he has a dog.

Ask your child about his/her favorite pet and buy books about it. Books can be a great resource of information. Feed your child's interest in animals by buying books about it. You will get surprised that your kid will tell you facts about the animals that you don't even know. Checking the Internet is also a good idea to make a research about the animal.

Watch TV shows or documentaries about animals. Watching documentaries on National Geographic or Discovery Channel is also a good way to learn about animals. Kids are in awe to see animals on their natural habitat.

These tips will help your child to become an animal lover, and who knows, he/she might be the next Steve Irwin!

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