Life is fast. It’s good to stop and ‘smell the roses’ as the old saying goes. So busy getting the kids to school, work, after school activities, soccer, dance, piano lessons, homework, dinner, bath, bed. Does that routine sound familiar to you?
Many of us are living in a whirlwind with no time to stop for a moment, take stock and look at what is truly wonderful in this world. I have found it rewarding to take a little time to relax, sit with the kids and watch our goldfish every day.
I want children to grow up understanding commitment. Trends and fads can easily take over every part of our lives, from the food we buy, the clothes we wear, to the home we live in. The term “disposable society” sneaks into our vocabulary far too often.
Our young children have the job of feeding our goldfish. The feeding ritual itself is a lesson for the children. Not only the commitment to feed the fish daily, but they learn that variety is important for the health of the fish. Even goldfish need their fruits and vegetables. A little zucchini and peas help keep your body healthy, just like ours. Reinforce the message of the importance of good nutrition.
They help with the weekly task of cleaning the fish tank. Being diligent about aquarium care and keeping the tank clean is vitally important to the health of your fish.
I love the deeper lessons our children are learning from caring for their fish. Unlike cats and dogs, these pets can’t go to the door when they need to go out or want to go for a walk. Goldfish is fully connecting with our diligence for your needs. If we let them down, we may shorten their lives. Their lives completely depend on our care.
The great thing about goldfish is that they are relatively hardy, particularly the comet breed. These fish are very lively and add great color to the tank. Comet tails are ¾ the length of the fish’s body and therefore look magnificent when added to an aquarium.
Overcoming society’s ‘throwaway’ attitude can be difficult. Children are conditioned from a very young age to ‘throw away’ used or imperfect things.
All too often, a goldfish meets an untimely end and is flushed down the toilet. With diligence, attention and a little knowledge this can often be avoided.
With care we can breastfeed our pet until it recovers health. A small hospital tank can be set up to isolate and treat sick fish. It is a rewarding experience to see the fish recover and go home with the other fish.
We go to the computer and investigate together. Setting up a breeding tank, learning about and observing the life cycle is another important lesson in care and breeding.
Keeping goldfish is a way to instill a caring attitude towards nature. The lessons for our children are invaluable: commitment, responsibility, the life cycle of nature and the importance of caring for life.
In addition to providing a wonderful addition to our home, these fish provide our family with much more than the scant attention and care necessary for their survival.