Let me start with a little story.
I had a friend –her name was Anjali (she’ll kill me if she finds out I talked about her) – and she once found a little puppy (about 6 weeks old) left to die in a box near a container. He was almost dead so she took him to the vet. Eventually, she took him home and cared for him. In a very short amount of time, the dog became her best friend. It was her first time taking care of a dog but she was very good at it. They bonded over almost everything and Felix (the dog she found) became a solid listener when she struggled at work or had a very hard time. She considered Felix as part of her family and felt deeply responsible for his health and well-being. I still remember how one day, for example, she’d rather be at home playing with her furry friend than attending a themed reunion party (that was packed with hot guys). After a few years, she got married and ended up with 2 kids –kids who didn’t like Felix at all and that was constantly bothering her. I remember how difficult it was for her to care for both her kids and her best friend and in the end she gave in and handed Felix over to a friend.
You see, in some cases, children see dogs as mere toys and trust me, empathy isn’t easy for them. But, if you still want your kids to love and respect your pet, here are some tips that might help you.
In general, children watch and replicate what they see their parents do and this is a proven theory. Children are excellent imitators and they are likely to have the same behaviors as yours. Children may not be very good at listening to their parents, but they have never failed to imitate them.
So, my suggestion is for you to constantly demonstrate a caring and loving attitude towards your pet so that your kid can replicate that behavior. The more you show your kids how kind and loving you are towards your pet, the more they will replicate that loving behavior. For example, try to hug or cuddle with your pet as often as you can in front of your kid so that the latter can observe this behavior and do the same.
Show Them That Pets Can Be Their Friends
I never had pets in my life (and no, I don’t hate them) but I know that animals can be incredible friends to human beings. In fact, the relationship or friendship between men and dogs is deep and old.
If you want your kids to love your pet, you need to make them understand that pets can be their friends and provide unconditional love. You can create opportunities for them to bond and socialize with your pet. For example, going to the park or the beach and playing Frisbee with your dog might be a good start. There are many other games and fun activities that might excite and entertain your kids and make them connect with your pet.
Here are some additional tips to help your kids understand that pets can be their friends:
- Show your kids how, when you talk, your pet listens attentively.
- Show your kids how your pet welcomes you when you are back home.
- Show your kids how your pet can be sad when you are sick but happy when you are healthy and fit.
- Show your kids how a simple cuddle or hug from your pet is enough to comfort you.