This is a partnered post with PetSmart. All opinions are my own.
How to Buy a Pet Fish
The friendly staff helped us select our new addition and gave us some helpful hints on how to take care of him. We let L pick out his habitat, including decorations and food. He was so excited to get his very own pet fish and decided to name him Little Star!
Allowing children to take responsibility for an animal is so important because it teaches them the value of life. Young children are so “ME-centric” that they rarely think about how their actions affect others. By giving them the responsibility of a pet, they learn lessons that will help them as they mature. It teaches children kindness, timeliness, thoughtfulness, and unconditional love… not to mention the importance of routines and even math skills, like measuring food and charting the growth of their pet.
L is so excited to feed Little Star, and often just sits and watches or talks to him. This interaction helps children to socialize and gives L an outlet to express himself. It also helps us to teach L the importance of taking care of someone else, fish or human. If L forgets to feed Little Star, that is an important conversation that we as parents can have with him.
Schools all over the world are on the little creature trend, inviting pets into the classroom to teach students responsibility and to add to the curriculum.
My favorite is the tadpole. From this little fish-like creature, you can teach the class about metamorphosis while the students literally watch the tadpole change into a frog. Another favorite is a butterfly! Getting a caterpillar and having the class watch the life cycle first hand, and then releasing the beautiful butterfly into the sky is really awe-inspiring.
When introducing a pet into the home or classroom, it is important to share the responsibilities with the children so they can take an active role in the upkeep of the pet. Whether their role is cleaning out the cage, changing out the water, or feeding the pet, trusting children to do the job and holding them accountable is a life lesson that will benefit them for years to come.
What pet did you have when you were growing up, either at home or in school? Did you take an active role in the taking care of it? What lessons did you learn?