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How to Teach Children to Interact with Animals.

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Animals are adorable. Children are more. Therefore, it is a sheer pleasure and a beauty to witness children playing with pets. Kids, however, do not just get interested in associating with animals. They can be taught. Heck, they should be taught. children should learn how to interact with their environments, humans, and pets especially. But the important question that arises from this is, "how do you teach children to interact with animals?"

Show them examples

Animals can be a little frightening to children because they don't look alike and the ways they behave and act do not correlate. Hence, naturally, there may be situations when kids don't want to get along with pets. Some children are daring, though. So, when you interact with an animal, by example, children can consciously learn to feel safe around them and conveniently interact.

Tell the 'whys' and 'why not'

Children, unlike adults, are really curious, adventurous, and daring. Tell them the sort of actions or activities that are pet-friendly and why they should do them, and also tell them those they shouldn't and why not to. For instance, you can tell little Judy, "Hey Judie, you can rub the back of the dog like this (with a demonstration), it makes it feel good. But you shouldn't put your hand in its mouth; it could hurt you." Or "You shouldn't try to bath the cat, they don't like cold water because it makes them shiver."

Tell them how to be nice to animals

With animals, which are non-verbal the way humans are, the best and the foremost language understandable is the act of 'caring'. Therefore, tell your child to be friendly to animals by showing them how to interact with your pet. As part of caring for your pet, you can encourage your child to feed the pet, give them water, but stay with them and to observe them. Acts of kindness familiarise the child with the pet and vice versa, making them feel good being around each other.

Set the limits

Let your child know when not to play with an animal. Let them know the reason why you are setting those rules. For example, your child shouldn't feed his pet with the same utensils he eats with; he should understand that it is not healthy, he shouldn't pull a pet's ear or tail, neither should he climb or squeeze them. When you set these limits, explain to them in basic words that they can get and follow.

Let them know the right places to touch

All pets can't be placated the same ways. Each pet has a soft spot that makes it feel relaxed and enjoy the company of humans. Your children should know this. Besides, they should also know the right techniques. Let them know that it is helpful to gently rub the back of a cat, and not to squeeze it, while a parrot would only prefer a gentle touch on the head.  

Teach mood and body language

Kids should be gradually introduced to learning pets' body languages and moods. It will help their interactions; it will help them know when to liven things up and when to avoid the pet. For example, a dog with a frowning face may be bored, needing a throw-and-catch play! Getting the mood right helps interactions.

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