When my eldest son was 2 years old, to my horror, he started to purposefully step on ants. All my vain cries of "Stop, don't do that" did not help. I didn’t want him to turn into an ‘Ant Bully’!
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah had once forgiven a prostitute. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Seeing that thirst had nearly killed him, she took off her shoe, tied it to her scarf, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3143, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2245)
Kindness is an important characteristic of a Muslim. I had to find a way to teach my son to be kind, even to animals. But all this slipped my mind because I hadn’t made a plan.