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  1. #1
    Registered User FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    need parenting advice related to pet care

    I have a 15 year old child who is generally very responsible. She owns a BP, a chameleon, and a chicken. She takes excellent care of them. However she takes horrible care of the crickets that she buys for the chameleon. I know crickets are hard to keep alive, but she has the equipment to at least provide them with a decent home until they are offered for food. She has a cricket keeper enclosure and both powdered food and orange cubes for them. She will set it up when she buys them but then never care to replenish food or water the rest of the time she has them, and as a consequence we have mass die off. I just want into her room and found the crickets with no food or water. I put in some orange cubes and they immediately covered them and started to eat because they were so desperate.

    She uses her own money to buy the crickets. She usually walks to the petstore herself to get them.

    What bothers me is that these crickets still deserve a decent life while they are in our care. In nature they can walk and find food/water sources but are at the mercy of my daughter in captivity. My daughter says "they are only crickets" but they are living creatures and I'm sure on some level they do experience pain, hunger, thirst, fear, etc. It's just irresponsible.

    Any advice?
    Last edited by FollowTheSun; 03-15-2019 at 02:54 PM.
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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  3. #2
    Registered User baldegale's Avatar
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    need parenting advice related to pet care

    this is my personal experience with it, as im 19 and have had reptiles since i was 13. this could be wrong due to you saying that she takes wonderful care of the animals themselves, but for me it was always an underlying problem when it came to neglecting animals care, in my brain id wanna do something id constantly tell myself to do it but my body physically couldnt do it no matter how hard i tried. now for me this was caused by a mixture of adhd and/or depression. now obviously i dont know her so i canít say anything, but im just saying to keep an eye out. my parents would constantly yell at me for not being able to take care of certain animals and id try to explain but they never understood and yelling just makes it even harder to do things when ya feel like that

    EDIT: this very reason is why i now refuse to have anything other than snakes. because ive accepted that i mentally cant take care of them, itís something that really sucks but you linda just gotta get used to it


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    Last edited by baldegale; 03-15-2019 at 03:03 PM.

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  5. #3
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    I think a certain level of detachment is necessary if your going to feed an insect to a hungry animal. While I can see your point and agree that your daughter probably is being cruel to the crickets, I wouldn't think any disciplinary or serious concern is needed. Maybe the best thing is to buy fewer crickets?

    I'm a parent myself, of a daughter who is apparently much less responsible than you own. I wouldn't trust my daughter to keep any animal alive....
    \m/

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  7. #4
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    Here's more guesses...maybe she finds the crickets fairly repulsive, & dislikes dealing with them. Psychology studies show that not only do we put off unappealing
    tasks, but the longer we do so, the more objectionable we find them & the harder it is for us to actually do them.

    On the other hand, maybe she LIKES the crickets, & mentally avoids considering them as food until she literally has to feed them off? Time for a conversation, mom.

    It's a little surprising really, since she has to spend her own money AND energy to get them: do remind her that it's important for feeders (of any kind) to be well-
    nourished, because the ultimate consumers benefit if they aren't starved. Actually, she isn't starving only the crickets, she's ultimately starving the chameleon.

    *****We are what we eat.*****

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  9. #5
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    Re: need parenting advice related to pet care

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Here's more guesses...maybe she finds the crickets fairly repulsive, & dislikes dealing with them. Psychology studies show that not only do we put off unappealing
    tasks, but the longer we do so, the more objectionable we find them & the harder it is for us to actually do them.

    On the other hand, maybe she LIKES the crickets, & mentally avoids considering them as food until she literally has to feed them off? Time for a conversation, mom.

    It's a little surprising really, since she has to spend her own money AND energy to get them: do remind her that it's important for feeders (of any kind) to be well-
    nourished, because the ultimate consumers benefit if they aren't starved. Actually, she isn't starving only the crickets, she's ultimately starving the chameleon.

    *****We are what we eat.*****
    You know what? She has indeed voiced her dislike and disgust of the crickets. And maybe that's a good point! I have discussed that it's important to have healthy feeders for a healthy lizard. I'll bring up that point again to her, because then I'm not directly criticizing her animal/feeder husbandry, but maybe I'll talk about it in a way that is generalized-- like how I try to buy healthy food for our family, my partner tries to get the best food for his cats, etc.

    You wanna know the irony of all this? She just went to State as part of her high school FFA program. She is a freshman and placed 6th in the state in her individual contest. Know what her contest was? Entomology.
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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  11. #6
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    Re: need parenting advice related to pet care

    Quote Originally Posted by JRLongton View Post
    I think a certain level of detachment is necessary if your going to feed an insect to a hungry animal. While I can see your point and agree that your daughter probably is being cruel to the crickets, I wouldn't think any disciplinary or serious concern is needed. Maybe the best thing is to buy fewer crickets?

    I'm a parent myself, of a daughter who is apparently much less responsible than you own. I wouldn't trust my daughter to keep any animal alive....
    Yeah, maybe part of my talk/consequence is going to be that she can only pick up enough to feed them for a day or two, and then has to trouble herself to get more, since she doesn't want to provide good care for them. Good point. Being a typical teenager she will probably find this troublesome in a short amount of time and try harder to care for her crickets.
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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    I'm outcome-oriented...it's one of the main reasons I've always raised my own mice (etc) to feed my snakes...I know they're healthy & well-fed. It's also
    why I rarely eat out, especially not "fast food".
    "Entomology" huh?

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  14. #8
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    Re: need parenting advice related to pet care

    Quote Originally Posted by baldegale View Post
    this is my personal experience with it, as im 19 and have had reptiles since i was 13. this could be wrong due to you saying that she takes wonderful care of the animals themselves, but for me it was always an underlying problem when it came to neglecting animals care, in my brain id wanna do something id constantly tell myself to do it but my body physically couldnt do it no matter how hard i tried. now for me this was caused by a mixture of adhd and/or depression. now obviously i dont know her so i canít say anything, but im just saying to keep an eye out. my parents would constantly yell at me for not being able to take care of certain animals and id try to explain but they never understood and yelling just makes it even harder to do things when ya feel like that

    EDIT: this very reason is why i now refuse to have anything other than snakes. because ive accepted that i mentally cant take care of them, itís something that really sucks but you linda just gotta get used to it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think this is extremely insightful and I appreciate your input. She is one who definitely struggles with personal organization and attention-- not only her age but just how she's wired. However she has learned to compensate with systems to help her be a good animal keeper. I forgot to mention above that she also has a hedgehog. She has a schedule that she follows to check food and water, clean the cages, feed the snake, etc. She has outright said that they are "just crickets" and doesn't seem to think or care that they have needs, too, and that's probably why they are being neglected.

    I think you are wise to know what you are good at and stick to that, rather than spreading yourself too thin. Both my partner and I are both animal lovers and when we merged households we realized we have way too many . . . and as they die off from old age/disease we are not replacing them as quickly. I think my daughter is learning that now, and has stated she loves her chameleon (and she really does take excellent care of him) she is done having critters that need live food after her chameleon dies of old age. We also purposely don't let her have any pets that will outlive her leaving home and going to college, other than her snake, which I don't mind caring for. :-)
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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  16. #9
    Registered User baldegale's Avatar
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    Re: need parenting advice related to pet care

    Quote Originally Posted by FollowTheSun View Post
    I think this is extremely insightful and I appreciate your input. She is one who definitely struggles with personal organization and attention-- not only her age but just how she's wired. However she has learned to compensate with systems to help her be a good animal keeper. I forgot to mention above that she also has a hedgehog. She has a schedule that she follows to check food and water, clean the cages, feed the snake, etc. She has outright said that they are "just crickets" and doesn't seem to think or care that they have needs, too, and that's probably why they are being neglected.

    I think you are wise to know what you are good at and stick to that, rather than spreading yourself too thin. Both my partner and I are both animal lovers and when we merged households we realized we have way too many . . . and as they die off from old age/disease we are not replacing them as quickly. I think my daughter is learning that now, and has stated she loves her chameleon (and she really does take excellent care of him) she is done having critters that need live food after her chameleon dies of old age. We also purposely don't let her have any pets that will outlive her leaving home and going to college, other than her snake, which I don't mind caring for. :-)
    unfortunately for me a schedule still doesnít do it for me, ive had points where im filled with immense guilt due to improper care but i still physically cant do anything, its a horrible feeling.

    funny part is, i hate crickets and refuse to get any reptile that needs crickets. its not the noise or anything but rather the smell and how annoying they are if they get loose. in fact a panther chameleon is my dream, but i refuse to ever get one just cause of the crickets. ive learned that mentally i cant handle stuff that requires daily attention, which is why i stick with snakes because with a hognose only have to feed every few days and then once a week once they get older. i just have to control myself and only get snakes from here on out, no matter how much i want another animal


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  18. #10
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    Re: need parenting advice related to pet care

    Quote Originally Posted by baldegale View Post
    unfortunately for me a schedule still doesnít do it for me, ive had points where im filled with immense guilt due to improper care but i still physically cant do anything, its a horrible feeling.

    funny part is, i hate crickets and refuse to get any reptile that needs crickets. its not the noise or anything but rather the smell and how annoying they are if they get loose. in fact a panther chameleon is my dream, but i refuse to ever get one just cause of the crickets. ive learned that mentally i cant handle stuff that requires daily attention, which is why i stick with snakes because with a hognose only have to feed every few days and then once a week once they get older. i just have to control myself and only get snakes from here on out, no matter how much i want another animal


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Our cats are pretty easy to care for-- they self-feed and we have a large water fountain for them, too. Add the pet door and you don't even need to worry about a litter box.

    Maybe some day you can invent some kind of frozen lizard food!
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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