Deal­ing with Out­side In­flu­ences

How to help your child feel con­fi­dent in their choices

Raise Vegan - - Contents - by Alex Dario- Gar­rett

In the class­room en­vi­ron­ment, talk with your child and en­cour­age them to use any themed equip­ment or top­ics in a man­ner with which they feel more com­fort­able. This could mean re­nam­ing zoos and farms as sanc­tu­ar­ies, aquar­i­ums as sea life res­cue cen­ters, or sim­ply ask­ing to choose an­other ac­tiv­ity.

On food- re­lated school top­ics, re­search nu­tri­tion­ally com­pa­ra­ble al­ter­na­tives and re­place on home­work. For ex­am­ple, re­plac­ing the word “milk” with “hemp milk.” This sort of cre­ative think­ing will help build con­fi­dence and help your child de­velop an in­de­pen­dent thought process that will be in­valu­able in later life!

In the cafe­te­ria, your child may have a packed lunch or seper­ate meal op­tions. Talk with them about how won­der­ful it is to make com­pas­sion­ate food choices and how they are set­ting a won­der­ful ex­am­ple for the other chil­dren, who may have never heard of ve­g­an­ism or know what it is. If there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for bake sales, try to par­tic­i­pate and find ve­gan recipes for your child to con­tribute.

For class trips, al­ter­na­tives could in­clude ap­proach­ing teach­ers at the start of the year to see if any con­tro­ver­sial trips are planned. Sug­gest a visit to a lo­cal wildlife res­cue and a guided tour of the nat­u­ral habi­tats sur­round­ing them, in­stead. Some an­i­mal char­i­ties will come and give pre­sen­ta­tions. If the school is not will­ing to com­pro­mise, help your child draft a let­ter to the head teacher as to why they will not be at­tend­ing school that day ( if this is a pos­si­bil­ity) and take them on a sep­a­rate trip to an an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary or res­cue cen­ter. They could even or­ga­nize a fundraiser for an an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary.

As par­ents and care­givers of young ve­g­ans, who have of­ten found ve­g­an­ism later in life, it can be ex­tremely frus­trat­ing to see your chil­dren ex­posed to things you may not choose or want for them. It may feel daunt­ing to hope their love for an­i­mals will stay strong, es­pe­cially when they are, po­ten­tially, a lone opin­ion or voice in the class­room. You may have spent years guid­ing them through life as a ve­gan, know­ing full well that most school en­vi­ron­ments en­cour­age hu­mans to view an­i­mals as a com­mod­ity or source of en­ter­tain­ment and nu­tri­ents. Be­lieve in your child’s com­pas­sion! Harm is a learned be­hav­ior, we are born in love and it is more likely that your child will in­spire an­other child to learn more and gain com­pas­sion and love for an­i­mals.

In­still­ing the ve­gan value of not harm­ing an­i­mals in your chil­dren is as im­por­tant as en­sur­ing an­i­mals stay off their plate. It is cru­cial that they un­der­stand and be­lieve in ve­g­an­ism, it has to come from within their own com­pas­sion­ate souls. Who knows, they may even con­vert a few along their jour­ney!

Photo: Sergey Novikov

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