Heartless, spineless, brainless, stinging, adorable, gelatinous. Sometimes taking care of a jellyfish is a joy, while other times, they drive you completely crazy! Here are is a guide to some common mistakes parents make with their jellyfish, and ways to avoid them.
Offering your Jellyfish Too Much Help
Teach your jellyfish that it’s okay to struggle. Everything in life isn’t easy, and if you coddle your jellyfish it will never become independent and instead will be resigned to passively ride the waves forever. Of course, you can and should offer encouragement, but don’t do everything for your jelly. Let it quiver and flail around a little.
Don’t Reason with a Jellyfish
Talking to jellyfish is usually a great idea, but not when it’s time to reign in bad behavior. Once you tell your jellyfish to do something, do not make “eye contact.” Definitely do not rush over to give “hugs,” oh my god, no.
Jellyfish thrive when they know what to expect. For example, if your jellyfish has a “tantrum” when you’re out with friends, don’t give in just because you’re embarrassed about what other people might think — even if your jellyfish makes that adorable pulsating rainbow “face.” Take a deep breath. Be assertive. And don’t ever let your jellyfish get the upper tentacle. After a “time-out,” make up and make sure your jellyfish knows that you still love it and will for another 500 million more years.
Serving only Jellyfish Food
Jellyfish can eat many different types of things: phytoplankton, crustacean zooplankton, fish eggs, larvae, other jellyfish. But don’t make the mistake of only serving these things. Encourage your jellyfish to try new things and soon it’ll be eating almost everything in the water…
Getting rid of the “crib”
A jellyfish moved too soon out of its “crib” may just end up swimming into “bed” with “mommy” and “daddy.” Trust me, you do not want this. Keep your jellyfish in its “crib” forever.
Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist, writer, and subtle creature. She is a regular contributor to The Hairpin, and is also cooking up a delicious collection of food stories and recipes called The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook. Prints of her art are for sale here.