It's Never Too Early To Start Teaching Compassion

Recently, I was visiting family and we made a trip to Kohler, Wisconsin.  We stopped in at the Movers and Shakers toy store and I was elated to come across this display:

Big thanks to the shop for devoting a section of the store towards building healthy relationships between children and animals.  Humane education is an area that seems to be gaining more ground these days whether it come from an animal welfare standpoint or the numerous studies that have shown violent behavior towards animals as a child is linked with adult violence towards humans.   

Of course, the books at Movers and Shakers did not touch on that issue directly but rather the practical issues like wanting a dog (which one to get) or the importance of walking a dog.  The lessons a child could take away from these has got to be substantial: responsible ownership and compassion to name just a couple.  Since many families will choose to bring a pet into their home what a wonderful step towards making sure the children (and parents) will do what they can to make it a healthy environment for everyone involved.  

We have a great opportunity to all be humane educators to the children around us and teaching compassion can extend not just to animals but also to the environment or other humans.  Resources are plentiful- below is a brief listing out of the many I found online. If you are teacher, child-care provider, parent, guardian, or know a family that is considering adopting a new family member please consider sharing these resources with them!  

Best Friends Animal Society 

Unchain Your Dog

Humane Society

Thinking Outside the Cage

Volunteer Guide

This was also an interesting find about a public art initiative helping to educate about the link between animal and child welfare and domestic violence.  I love it when artists use their art for the greater good.

Okey's Promise

I might also add that if you are getting a gift for a child (or someone in touch with their inner-child) there are many great books out there!

 

Image courtesy of Rob Kelly

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