Nearly 70% of American households have at least one pet. While the most popular are cats and dogs, you aren’t limited to these two options.
If you have allergies or your living situation doesn’t allow these four-legged furry companions, consider an alternative. By adopting fish for kids, you can experience the same benefits without all of the fur.
Did you know that fish can learn and are smart as well? Fish will avoid situations they are aware would hurt them and seek out activities that will be rewarding. Fish can learn how to use tools. For example, many fish use rocks to open bivalves like clams, oysters, and mussels to eat them. Particularly, the archerfish has extraordinary intellect. By observing and imitating other archerfish, they can learn the correct volume based on target size, which is an impressive skill.
Consider these benefits to your children when you add fish to your family.
1. Teach Responsibility
Taking care of their pet fish teaches children about responsibility. They must complete everyday tasks like feeding the fish and maintaining the aquarium. These activities teach students how to take care of another person, attend to their needs, and make them feel at ease.
When you first set up your new tank, teach your children about what it takes to care for their new slippery friend. Caring for a fish is easier than caring for a dog or cat, so fish make a great intro into taking on responsibilities.
Creating a feeding and cleaning schedule teaches your kids responsibility. It also teaches them that sometimes we have to do what needs to be done, even if we’d rather be doing something else.
Additionally, maintaining and decorating a fish tank can be enjoyable and thrilling. Children can add different aquarium items, such as colorful pebbles and plants, to create a unique environment for their pets. It will give them great pleasure and satisfaction to realize that they are the ones in charge of their pets. In this sense of accomplishment, their self-esteem will also increase.
2. Learn About Nature
Most kids today are more removed from that natural environment than ever. Who has time to go outside, much less find a stream or lake to gaze at, with smartphones, television, the internet, and video games competing for their attention? Home aquariums bring the outdoors into your living space, just a few feet from the couch where the kid is frequently seated.
Having a living, swimming fish gives your children an up-close and personal view of nature. As you develop your tank and get to know your fish, your children will learn what the fish do and don’t like.
They’ll learn about water temperature, types of food, species, and where they like to hang out in the tank. Watching the fish swim, they’ll learn how fish anatomy works.
They also learn to respect nature and living creatures, and how their actions directly impact the outcome of a situation. Caring for fish in a home aquarium can be a very rewarding hobby.
You can work with your child to build a thriving ecosystem. You could buy algae, rocks, and other plants to create hiding places for your fish to swim in and around.
3. Reinforce Learned Concepts
If your children are younger, you can reinforce concepts learned in preschool or elementary school. Use your fish to reinforce shape and color recognition. You could play a game where you name all of the colors on the fish.
Or they could identify the different shapes of the items in the tank. You could have them count the fish in the tank. Turn these simple tasks into a fun game and prepare them for school at the same time.
In addition, children also adopt values essential for their growth while taking care of their pets. Children learn to be patient, and kind, and to attend to the basic needs of others. They will learn to watch out for others when they realize how valuable they are to someone smaller than them. Meeting the needs of their pet develops their empathy and respect for others. Children can express their love and affection for a pet by having one. It could be a little challenging to show the fish that you care, but they can watch them, talk, or feed them with special treats.
4. Reduce Stress
Taking a few minutes to sit down and watch fish swim can significantly reduce stress levels. If you find that your child is easily stressed or emotional, try getting them fish. When they start to feel overwhelmed, they can sit down and watch them swim for a bit.
Watching the fish swim peacefully through the water and the bubbles floating to the surface can help kids relax.
Try placing the tank near your child’s bed. They can lay down at night and unwind while they watch their fish swim.
Let’s face it; sometimes, life gets away from you. By the end of the week, you realize that you haven’t spent much time with your children. Taking care of the fish is a great way to schedule some bonding time in every day.
You don’t have to do anything elaborate. You could spend a few minutes feeding them or watching them swim. Or you could have a daily fish fact.
Moreover, having a pet fish is a great way to teach your child responsibility and how to take care of others. They will also learn how to be kind and compassionate and how to effectively interact with others.
Consider Buying Fish for Kids
Buying fish for kids is a great way to slowly teach your children responsibility and caring for an animal. If they aren’t ready to care for a cat or dog, a fish is a low-key alternative.
Check out the pets and pet care section of our blog for more helpful articles.