How to Get Kids to Respect Wildlife

Spring is in the air—now more than ever is the perfect time to treat animals with love, care, and respect! Animals aren’t gifts nor toys to be played with and then forgotten. They are individuals who need and deserve respect from everyone. Even though we may not understand it completely, wildlife plays an imperative role in our daily lives. What we’re trying to say is that without wildlife, humans would struggle to exist. As each day becomes harder for the wildlife to thrive, it’s of great importance to train your child from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and respectful of animals. So, what is the role of the youth in wildlife efforts? 

Many of our wildlife are going instinct at an alarming rate. Conservation groups have gone the extra mile to prevent losses and conserve wildlife habitats; however, there are still many people who fail to understand the importance of wildlife and nature and continue with their habits that are harmful to the environment. While it’s never too late for them to make a change, a brilliant way to ensure that the succeeding generations value wildlife in the coming decades is to have children involved and educated about respecting animals. 

Respect starts in your very home. Children don’t learn them on their own; it’s modeled to them. Therefore, be the best parent by being a good example. Nurturing children who respect wildlife aren’t just mini environmental stewards. They also become good and kind people who’ll view everyone, animal or not, as worthy of care, respect, protection, and equality. Hence, help foster those traits in your kid. Keep reading to learn how. 

Respect All Animals 

The wildlife is cool to look at; we can learn so much from observing them, but taking them away from their homes and taking out their wildness isn’t always the best thing for the animal. Films and books may have shown children that animals can live harmoniously with humans in their homes. This is far from the truth; animals can be cute and cuddly; however, they are still wild. Animals live their best life in their natural habitat—and should keep doing that. Wild animals don’t belong in our homes or zoos, and children should know this first. Moreover, teaching your kid to respect animals is to teach them to make a choice that doesn’t harm wildlife and their homes. Explain the risks of litters and damaging natural habitats. 

Give Them Pet-Related Responsibilities

Children learn to love and respect animals when they get to interact with them. Hence, if you have space, time, and inclination, consider bringing home a pet. Make sure to assign the kids responsibilities related to the care of the pets. Even if these tasks are as simple as walking dogs outside or feeding the hamster, it will help the child see that all kinds of animals are living creatures that need to be cared for and respected. As the child comes to care for and respect your animals, they also learn how their actions can affect and impact an animal’s well-being and that they also rely on humans to thrive. 

Observe Animals Without Touching

It may look fun to pet animals and chase after them, but these human interactions with wildlife can negatively affect them. Step in and correct them with their interactions with animals. Animals can get upset or threatened by a simple touch, pulling, hitting, and even taunting. Some kids find it funny to spook animals, especially house pets. As a parent, it is your duty to inform them that it may be fun for them, but it is utterly disrespectful to animals. It is not fun for the animals and could be dangerous for the child. Teach your child to leave animals alone and observe them from a distance. Help them understand that being responsible and respecting their privacy keeps them, your family, and the wildlife safe. 

Skip Entertainment that Harms Animals

When we can’t travel to places and see other animals, we tend to go to zoos, circuses, and sea worlds. Just as you want to model good behavior, you also need to skip any events that disrespect animals. Animals aren’t actors and spectacles to imprison and gawk at. Yet thousands of wild animals are captured in captivity and forced to perform tricks for people’s entertainment. Behind the scenes, these animals are kept chained and cage in enclosures, separating them from their families. It’s important to stop supporting these so-called entertainment programs considering that most of them have been accused of mistreating wildlife, forcing them to perform until the day they die. 

Learn, Learn, Learn

Another excellent way for children to better understand the respect that is needed for wildlife is to provide them with reading and photo books like Nicki Geigert’s Who’s Yawning Now? a children’s photo book on yawning lemurs and more. Such books are not only entertaining, but it points the way for children to respect wildlife. Supplement kids’ learning with films and documentaries; surely your child will develop more appreciation for wildlife and understand the importance of wildlife conservation and protection. 

All in all, respect for wildlife and kindness to animals are gifts that children will carry throughout their lives. 

 

 

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