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Children and Pets

I have had a pet once. It was a small colourful fish and I named it “Blue Red”. Blue Red was bought at the beginning of a school holiday when I felt bored. No complicated apparatus, just a small fish in a small glass bottle. I needed to change the water in the glass bottle so that Blue Red could have a clean home and sufficient oxygen.

I still remember the first time when I wanted to change the water. I was afraid that Blue Red would jump out of water if I took it out from the bottle, so I asked my cousin to help. He suggested me to use a spoon to scoop Blue Red into another container while I changed water. It worked.

The rest was easy, talking to Blue Red, feeding Blue Red and scooping Blue Red once every two days. When the school started again, my schedule was so busy that I afraid I could not take good care of Blue Red. Blue Red ended up in a pond with other fish.


Some of my students have a pet. Though taking care of a pet is mostly done by the parents or grandparents, children can learn:

1. how to play in a safe way

A pet is like a young child, it does not know what is the limit. When playing, both the child and the pet must play in a way that they do not hurt each other. The child must make sure there is no sharp objects around and teach the pet about “No biting” policy.

2. how to conquer fear and learn how to solve problem

Fear of hurting the pet, fear of the pet being sick, fear of losing the pet, etc. are good in a way that a child can learn how to conquer fear. Because of fear, a child also learns how to solve problem. For example, I was afraid that the fish would jump out of water, so I used a spoon to scoop it into another container.

3. how to be responsible

Having a pet means the child needs to take care of a pet, with or without the help from adults. By learning to take care of a pet, the child learns how to be responsible.

4. time management

Whether it is daily food or weekly walk, the child learn how to manage the time.

5. how to handle loss when time comes

Whether the pet needs to be given away or died, the pet will part with the child sooner or later. Thus, the child must learn how to handle loss when the time comes. Parents can help in explaining to the child that everything living things die eventually.

Although the child can learn a lot from having a pet, there are also some downsides of having a pet, for example, an allergy reaction. Thus, before you adopt or buy a pet, please think carefully and thoroughly.

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