Parents, Bring Your Kids To a Zoo (And Teach Them About Computers)

Written on October 15th, 2013. We've got comments, too!

Here in Indonesia, we have an annual holiday where people donate livestock for charity. It’s a Muslim occasion called Eid Al–Adha. It brings together families to gather and pray, while being in direct contact with cows and goats. Which means kids and animals. And kids really like playing with animals.

Sadly, most kids have no clue how to deal with livestock, and they don’t realize the danger they’re in. I watched a bunch of kids (attempt to) repeatedly stab a cow in the eye before it moo’d angrily and they scurried away.

I don’t blame the kids. They’re juveniles; it’s their parents’ responsibility. And sometimes the parents don’t know any better, either.

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This guy had the sanity to accompany his child over; I didn’t dare take a shot of the kids stabbing cows.

I blame the “system”. With no popular nature documentary available on local TV (without paying the $40/mo or so for cable TV, and then you probably still need to pay people to even watch National Geographic), kids don’t learn to respect nature. They don’t respect wildlife — or livestock — because they don’t know that an angry cow could easily break their ribs.

These incidents are rare — and probably undocumented. But how do you teach this sort of thing to children if their schools and TV doesn’t?

Bring them to a zoo.

Now here’s where I, again, blame the “system”. Jakarta, the capital city of a nation supposedly proud of it’s ecosystem, has one zoo. One. There are a couple more within 6 hours drive, but most parents lack the vehicle to bring their kids there, much less the time. If we don’t teach our kids how to gently approach and pat an animal — which is typically completely safe, while supervised — they’re just going to go around tickling sleeping dragons.

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The one source where they might actually learn this from.

And this applies to all parts of life. If we don’t teach our kids how to properly use the internet, and they see this form blocking their way to a super-popular website all the cool kids use…

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… Who are we to blame when their personal information, passwords and photos leak out to the world?