difficult child wants a gerbil

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I have tried to keep an open mind. We have two cats that she and her sister promised to help take care of... but guess who does all the feeding, water and litter box clean up? Plus I worry that the two cats might do the gerbil in if he gets loose in the house.

    difficult child is saying she will pay for the expenses of buying, housing and maintaining the gerbil. My problem is, she is behind is a couple of classes with missing homework. I have tried to tie in the "being responsible" first for school before getting a gerbil. We had a four day weekend, and of course, "she forgot" to bring the homework home. She has also been very difficult to get a long with. She is SO bossy to her younger sis, that sometimes she is in tears. She doesn't actually hit her sister, but the tone and words are very hurtful.

    Does having a pet ever makes things better? The therapist that I see said I needed to try and say "yes" to as many things as possible... as long as it is not illegal, immoral, expensive, unsafe, etc. I am just afraid her free time will be spent with the gerbil and even less homework would get done.

    I went to teacher's conferences last week, and she has about 6 A's and B's and 1 C and 1 D. But a few days earlier it was 2 D's. The work she hands in is A and B grades... but the zeros and late papers drags her grades down. I guess I want her to work harder at school and also show some responsibility at home before getting a gerbil. Any ideas? KSM
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention that the gerbil she would buy is from her science teacher - and he has two left to sell. Of course, she has her heart set on a specific gerbil. KSM
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sounds like a perfect way to say yes. Yes, when a, b, c, happen then you can buy/get the gerbil. I love the responsibility connection and maybe if you write it out in an easy to use goal chart she will go along with it and keep it in mind. It is not another "no" (I get that too...catch myself all the time) it is just a logical way to earn it. Just MHO of course, smile

    oh, will science teacher work with you on this and hold the gerbil, if not she may have to do it the traditional pet store way.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just my experience, but...
    1) in general, no.
    2) unless it is a really special kind of DOG - or horse.

    Dogs and horses form a different bond with humans, than most other animals out there.
    But its not about "a dog" and especially not about "a puppy". (I don't have horses, I have dogs - so I'll work from that standpoint).

    We have a pair of rescue dogs (*** do NOT try this... a pair is NOT simple, its worse than having twins! ***)
    Did a LOT of research into breeds, and natures, and adoption.
    This is our second round of successful adoption.
    What you need is the kind of dog who is going to:
    1) love every single member of the household with all its heart
    2) be interested in things that each kid is interested in

    Did you ever see a 60 lb lap dog? We have TWO. K2 wanted a "lap dog"... these two have to take turns, but LOVE being on her lap. Meanwhile... one of the two is also a ball-chaser (high on K1's list), and both are good distance-walkers (high on husband's list) AND watchful/attentive (high on MY list)...

    The dogs were ONE more factor in pulling K1 out of depression. But its not just "any dog".
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion that is the least of your worries. how much time does she spend with the cat?

    I've finally found the backbone to say NO to any more pets. Two reasons. #1 I always end up caring for them and #2 our cat is quite neurotic and doesn't do well with other animals in the house (even fish) Oh, yeah, the fish. I did get each of the girls a Beta last winter - Siamese fighting fish. They lasted about six months. Not bad, but the cat would jump up on the counter and pee around their tank. They do want replacements so I might concede to that again.

    But yes, the responsibility has to be proven first to the current animals. My neighbors never demanded that of their daughter and she got a new pet whenever she wanted. When she or the family got sick of them, they'd get sent away (mostly rehomed) But then a few months later there were new pets again. The girl is not even 21 yet and has had 10 cats, 8 dogs and 4 ferrets. There is also a rat that got loose and is roaming the house, several gerbils, and countless small reptiles.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee's IHBT pressured me to get Wee a dog when he was about 4. husband had gotten a working dog puppy and Wee responded to it really well. When Wee was 5, I gave in and got him a dog.

    I expected the primary care to fall to me, which it does. Wee helps, even now. However, the dog loves him unconditionally, the dog is a k9 version of Wee, they run, they chase, they play fetch, they went swimming at the pool together on the last day of the season (when you are allowed to bring your dog), then they curl up in the chair together at night and watch tv...they are 2 peas in a pod, and the dog has been great for Wee. Its a conversation starter with new people, it draws other kids to him that otherwise would stay away, its a common interest with adults and children alike, it gives him a source of pride that he didn't have before. He takes the dog camping and trick or treating and to contests and gives him social opportunities he wouldn't otherwise have...the dog just has given him a lot.

    I don't regret that dog for one minute. It took us months to find him. We drove to shelters all over the state to find him, and spend time playing with other dogs, until we found "THE dog". I could be wrong, but I don't think its the kind of bond you'll get with another animal (except, maybe, as was mentioned, a horse). It creates more work for me, but I suspect its just a trade off. If we didn't have the dog, I'd have to be filling in some of those holes the dog fills, so I'd be doing something one way or another.

    (Although Wee does have a rat, and he loves that darned rat, too. And the rat, much to my surprise, has a lot of personality, also. Though she doesn't seem to have a bond to any one person, but she has more interaction than the guinea pigs and hamsters we had before.)