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Children and tortoises?

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by yillt, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. yillt

    yillt Well-Known Member

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    I am 14. I was 10 when I joined this site. I kept my age secret for almost a year. When I finally felt that people had begun to know me and appreciate me for how I look after my tortoise, not my age,I finally began to speak to people about my age and realised that there are many young members of this site. There have been a few members who state that 'children should not be allowed pets, especially ones that can outlive them!' I see their reasoning and I agree with some aspects of it, but if you consider the fact that all of the young members have joined this forum instead of being on insta gram, Facebook etc... then it shows that they sincerely care for the wellbeing of their pet. I rarely stick to any forums and to have been on this one for almost 4 years is a record for me. Which shows that children can show dedication to their pet and I haven't got 'bored' of Billy. What are your views on teens/children owning tortoises?
  2. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    ...Wise beyond your years....
  3. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    An interesting topic @yillt and I personally believe you've been taking good care of your tort.

    I, for example am much older than you are, I'd never dealt wit animals, never had a pet until I got Oli (my beloved Greek tort). I do not think that age is the issue. I think it's your really and truly wanting the pet or not. Know what I mean?
  4. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 5 Year Member

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    it really depends on the child if the child has a history of getting bored with things a tortoise is probably not the best idea.
  5. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Definitely so.
    ZEROPILOT likes this.
  6. yillt

    yillt Well-Known Member

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    I certainly know you mean. I certainly , really and truly want Billy.
    TammyJ and Gillian Moore like this.
  7. yillt

    yillt Well-Known Member

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    I definitely agree.
  8. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you want your tort. I didn't mean you personally, alright? Hope you didn't take my words personal.
  9. yillt

    yillt Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I meant to say 'I certainly know what you mean.' I do understand and definitely didn't take your words personally. I agree completely. :)
    Gillian Moore likes this.
  10. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I think like what dmmj said. If they normally get bored with things quickly, then most pets aren't for them. However, if the child is totally opposite of that, then I think any pet is good for them as long as the adult realizes that they too need to be responsible for the animal as much as the child. After all, kids will still be kids and for those moments the animal shouldn't suffer for it. I think a responsible alert attentive parent can tell pretty early on if their child is a responsible pet owner. I think my problem is more about parents that don't take the responsibility to make sure the animal is being properly taken care of.
    yillt likes this.
  11. saginawhxc

    saginawhxc Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting topic. As someone who has three children older than you and two younger I want to start off by saying your dedication to your tortoise is something I could never see my children doing. So kudos to you.

    On the surface I don't have a problem with someone your age owning something like a tortoise, but as someone who takes care of a bearded dragon that a nine year old wanted more than anything in the world I generally caution parents and/or young people to never ever get any pet that the parent isn't willing to step in and take over if necessary. Once again that obviously isn't the case with you, so once again good job.

    Here is another angle though. At fourteen you seem extremely sharp and mature for your age, but at fourteen you likely have very little clue who you will be just a few years down the road. Our teenage years and twenties are periods of rapid life changes and emotional growth. We never know where the future will take us, but never is that more true than our volatile teen years.

    Just last year I adopted a red foot from a girl two months in to her first year of college, she couldn't keep it in her dorm and her parents said it had to go. She seemed close to crying when I picked it up.

    All cautionary nonsense aside though, don't worry about your age. Be proud that you are as awesome as you are at that age. For the record I don't care one bit. In my opinion you are simply a fellow tortoise keeping peer.
    EdMurphy, Kristoff, TammyJ and 3 others like this.
  12. yillt

    yillt Well-Known Member

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    It's so nice to hear that. I don't know where I will go for certain in the future, but my no. 1 dream is to become a vet and at the moment, that is where I hope to be in 10 years. If I couldn't ever take care of Billy for a few months of years, my mum would certainly be able to, which I'm very grateful for.
    TammyJ and saginawhxc like this.
  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    There are just so many outside interests that seem to take our younger members away from us. Take for example @russian/sulcata/tortoise - Nick. He was on here all the time when he first found us, but in a couple years it was easy for us to see that 'girls' had entered his sphere of interest. Oh yes, he still has his tortoises and his interest in them, but we only get an every so often picture from him and never any conversation any more.

    And that seems to be the way with most of our younger members. So good for you, Bella, for sticking with us. Because there's always something new to learn, and here on the Forum, because we have so very many member world wide, we get that new, cutting edge info and share it with our members.
    yillt likes this.
  14. saginawhxc

    saginawhxc Well-Known Member

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    Girls seem to be the downfall of many teenage boys...

    Been there done that myself.
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  15. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    I agree my kids are at the stage now where the torts and turtles aren't so cool or important. My boy is driving and girls are now the focus, my daughter is almost 15 and she's not into them as much either. Both are very knowledgeable about them so maybe they will get back in to them at an older age.

    @yillt keep the love and passion for torts, I thinks it's awesome how you feel and all the knowledge you have gained thus far.
    saginawhxc likes this.
  16. MPRC

    MPRC Well-Known Member

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    I got my first pet at 5, it was a treefrog. From there I had several and always had a love of reptiles. My first leopard gecko lived for 17 years. I was that quiet introverted kid whose best friend in high school was a 13lb iguana.

    My pets have had a big effect on my adult life. I pay more for rent because I need the space. I pay more for power as the pets needs heat. I can't take off for weeks on end because I would need a house sitter, etc. If I wanted to go to college I couldn't have lived in the dorms. Etc.

    These are all things young people should consider before buying a tortoise. I got mine as I was closing on buying a house - with room and a yard for them and that fell through and now i'm struggling to find a suitable accommodation for them and myself in a decent price range.
    Kristoff, TammyJ, saginawhxc and 3 others like this.
  17. yillt

    yillt Well-Known Member

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    @yillt keep the love and passion for torts, I thinks it's awesome how you feel and all the knowledge you have gained thus far.[/QUOTE]
    I certainly will, they are a wonderful animal which I hope to be with my whole life.
    cmac3 likes this.
  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Downfall???!

    They were my "up-lift". Literally saved my life. No joke.
  19. Polly

    Polly New Member

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    I think pets are very good for children, young people, families, single and paired adults.
    Children who have contact with animals learn so much about compassion and life.
    Technically Buddy is my 9 year old son's tortoise. Previously we had not even considered keeping reptiles, although over the years we have successfully had cats, rabbits, hamsters birds and fish. We still have cats and fish and my son does take part in caring for them, but we are under no illusion that he can take full responsibility for them and only after we had done our homework did we agree to take on such a long lived animal.
    We know and accept the responsibility for Buddy falls to us as the adults and as our son grows up and explores the world, leaving the family home and probably for a time not be in a position to care for his pet. We know though that he will return to the responsibility as he then settles into his adult life with the childhood pet who has grown up with him.
    I hope as he grows into his teenage years he will have the same attitude to the pet he craved that you clearly have and like you will learn as much as he can to care for his pet as you have done. In the the lifetime of a cared for tortoise, the college or travelling years are very short and the rewards of knowing you can care for another are great.
    thanks for sharing your experience yillt. I'm sure you will make a great vet!
    DutchieAmanda likes this.
  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    This is similar to what I went through.

    I got my first box turtle at age 7. I cared for it and loved it until about the age of 17. I temporarily lost interest while going through a really hard time in life in a really hard area of the world. Frankly at that stage in my life surviving to the next day was a challenge. I still loved my turtle, but I felt the right thing to do was give it away to someone who really wanted it and would give it the attention and care that it needed and deserved. Impulsively, I gave Tommy turtle to a 10 year old who was a family friend. After about 15 years I decided to try and get Tommy back, but we've lost touch with those people and it seems that Tommy is gone forever. This will remain one of my biggest regrets of my childhood.

    To the original question: All kids are different. A few bad apples spoil the bunch, even though some kids are quite capable of responsibility and dedication.
    cmac3 likes this.
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