Back to Family Basics

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Photo by woodleywonderworks

Teach children to respect all living things, to eat fresh only what they need to stay healthy, and how to conserve our limited natural resources. Show them how to care for a puppy or kitten. Teach them how to build a garden and grow fruits and vegetables. Show them how to apply their heart, research their questions, and utilize their physical and mental capabilities.

Build a bird house, and feed the birds with seeds from your garden. Build a dog house or cat tower from recycled materials. Water your garden with rain runoff from your roof. Compost raked leaves and mowed grass to feed the plants in the garden. Teach each family member how to use recycling bins and how to conserve.

Be creative, make it important and rewarding. Instead of buying children useless toys, have them research the best family pet. Have them understand the nature of this pet and how to properly care for this type of animal. Apply a democratic system for the selection of a new pet once their shared responsibilities are understood by each member of the family. Education is most effective when it is fun and lasting tangible rewards are experienced.

Extend your family and get involved in constructive community activities. Show your children the benefits of team work. Help them understand environmental concerns and how important they are for all living things. Motivate them to understand problems and how to discover solutions. Organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4H are great if there is some level of family involvement.

I particularly like dog and cat shows. The exhibitors are usually knowledgable about their breed and are very proud of their pets. The pets at shows are usually at their best and crave the attention of their human admirers. You will find most children are very interested in learning more. I got hooked when I was 9 years old at my first dog training competition. What a magnificent display of dog and man working as a team! This relationship was so impressive and so inspiring to me, that now 50 years later, I not only still train and compete in dog trials, but I have been fortunate enough to make this hobby my livelihood.