How to Teach Children to be Kind to Animals

By eHow Parenting Editor

The love of animals seems to be innate for all children, but that doesn't mean they always know how to behave around animals. Children can be cruel to animals often because they don't know any better. It is important to teach children to be kind to animals so they grow up with respect for others.

Demonstrate kindness towards animals through your own actions. Always show your child that animals deserve respect. Pet and hold animals correctly and never speak of harming animals.

Show your child the correct way to pet and hold animals. Teach your child to ask permission before approaching another person's animal. Talk about why an animal may react negatively around people.

Discuss with your children why it's inappropriate to tease animals. Tell them that animals are living, breathing creatures capable of feeling pain. Ask your child to describe proper ways of playing and interacting with animals.

Watch your child's interactions with animals. Make sure an adult is present when an animal is around your child. Observe your child showing kindness to animals.

Contact your local Human Society or animal shelter. Ask the staff if they teach animal safety and kindness classes. Take your child to the shelter to learn about how to behave around different types of animals.

Allow your child to have a pet of their own. It can be as simple as a fish. A child who has the responsibility of caring for an animal learns to love and care for animals in general.