Do you think my kids could handle it?

Scarlet

New Member
Hello,
My two 13 year old boys are interested in buying a chameleon. They have a lot of money to spend, over $900, and they do know their care, etc. My boys have been researching for a LONG time, and understand about cham. care. Personally, do you think it is too big of a chance to take? They have never had a reptile before, but I think that feeding would be absolutly fine. They have the proper space, too. Opinions?

Thanks for reading,
Scarlet
 
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BlynkzandJessi

New Member
I think they can handle it I am thirteen and I probably reasearched less than them and I have not had any problems with mine in the month and a half I have had him.
 

Scarlet

New Member
I think they can handle it I am thirteen and I probably reasearched less than them and I have not had any problems with mine in the month and a half I have had him.

Hmm, thank you for your input! They are very interested in them and I cannot seem to get them to stop. :p It's like an obsession. Does yours enjoy being held? (It's fine if not, I am just asking out of curiousity. The pet store said they sometimes do and don't.)
 

bryan08

New Member
chameleons generally do not like being handled at all, so try to keep your handling to a minimum, they are very shy animals
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
They are very demanding and stubburn reptiles. Mine keeps me busy all through the week. But since you have two of them caring for the chameleon, it will much easier. I wish I had another person to help me:) But they do not like to be handled too much because they can get stressed. When they get too stressed, their immune systems get weaker and they can refuse to drink and eat. As long as your kids stay on top of things, they should be good.
 

BlynkzandJessi

New Member
Blynkz does not mind it every once in a while. I like to try and hold him at least every 3 or 4 days so that when it gets warmer I can take him outside and let him get some natural light.
 
As long as it doesn't start an argument, I am going to step forward and say, No chameleons, what so ever, LIKES being held. There are those that won't tolerate it. Those that will tolerate it. Those that will allow you to hold them if they can use your hand to reach somewhere, etc. But if a chameleon comes to you, never assume it likes being held, it simply wants something and you are facilitating the fulfillment of this want of theirs.

The difference in quality of lifestyle of a chameleon is, Toleration vs. Potential to Thrive. A chameleon who must tolerate things, is not a chameleon who is thriving.

---

My opinion, no 13 year old can raise a chameleon alone. There are many 13 year olds actively participating on this forum, and caring for chameleons. However, there have also been several sob stores when the adolescent has a chameleon in need of vet care and they cannot convince their parent to fund it or allow it. This is only an example, there are some great limitations to how far these kids can care for these chameleons.

If you allow them to care for a chameleon, YOU must play an active role in their care. The kids can have duties and it can be their pet, but you are the enforcer and what you say is ultimate. However, this creates another complex, YOU must have AS MUCH knowledge as they do, and more, on chameleon care. You would have to devote several hours a week to actively research chameleon information, in addition to the care you would be providing one at the time, as well as document the current care info that you are providing, for details should a problem arise.

You ask us if it is too big of a chance to take to let a couple 13 year olds have a chameleon... It is a risk at any age. But the weight of the risk needs to be on your shoulder's, not theirs.

Welcome to the chameleon keeping hobby. (Well, it usually starts as just a simple hobby...) If you think they are obsessed now, just wait till they have a chameleon.
 

ChameleonsTree

New Member
Keep in mind unless you automate everything including the misting you cant go out of town without a responsible babysitter for them also...might be more than a commitment.
 

Scarlet

New Member
Thank you, everybody. I will seriously look into the idea, but also be sure to not "sugar coat" everything.

Thanks again,
Scarlet
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I agree with will. It can keep you very busy catering to the chams needs. That's why I started waking up early in the morning. I try to keep the feeding and watering schedules on time everyday. It's not like you throw in some crickets and leave a water dish out. You really have to set breakfast and dinner times.
 

Brian S

New Member
Two 13 year olds are fully capable of keeping a cham, if both you and them have true, unbiased information. YOU have to be respnsible and not just look the other way, or act ignorant if they come to you saying that their is something wrong. These animals are GREAT, awesome marvels of nature what t can produce, and deserve all of the respect in the world. Just be lucky that you now have this resource.
 
It actually might help your children to learn responsibility as Chameleon keeping is incredibly detail-orientated. But I would agree that you would have to essentially become the foreman on this job. A 13 year old may not have enough of an understanding of consequences. They might see it as "not that big a deal" to handle them excessively or stare at the cham to the point the animal feels stressed. An authority figure really would be needed to supervise and ensure that this remarkable creature is getting the proper care to thrive.
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Scarlet,
Let me say first of all that after keeping many different animals, birds, dogs, cats, fish, a wide assortment of reptiles and amphibians...I have not come across any animal that is quite as specific and delicate as a chameleon.
I have a completely different person take care of the cham when we're out of town. The other animals have a house sitter and Kitty goes to his baby sitter (a reptile vet tech).
I couldn't trust anyone else. I think it is too much for a 13 year old in general. I don't know your boys and as Will mentioned there are 13 year olds keeping them. Some are quite devoted and smart and seem to be doing things properly. I do know that at 13 an animal like this can fall on the list of priorities when the novelty wears off. 13 year olds can have busy schedules (sports, clubs, school, etc. etc.) These animals need to be tended to multiple times a day. This will be your job when the kids get busy.
One final point: Are you prepared to take on the entomological aspects of this hobby?
You're going to have to raise a lot of bugs. If you want the animal to have the best possible situation, you must culture the largest variety of feeder insects you can get your hands on. Roaches, worms, crickets, mantids, flies.....they'll all need to live in your house as well.

-Brad
 

joseofsa

Member
well said will. also just because they have a core $900 doent mean that it will last, these guys can be bottomless pits and will eat you out of house and home(welli guess this only applies if you keep a few) and God forbid if anything happen the vet bills will kill ya.
i researched for 5 months july-nov of '06 and been keeping since nov and i still constantly look here for info.
 

Scarlet

New Member
Scarlet,
Let me say first of all that after keeping many different animals, birds, dogs, cats, fish, a wide assortment of reptiles and amphibians...I have not come across any animal that is quite as specific and delicate as a chameleon.
I have a completely different person take care of the cham when we're out of town. The other animals have a house sitter and Kitty goes to his baby sitter (a reptile vet tech).
I couldn't trust anyone else. I think it is too much for a 13 year old in general. I don't know your boys and as Will mentioned there are 13 year olds keeping them. Some are quite devoted and smart and seem to be doing things properly. I do know that at 13 an animal like this can fall on the list of priorities when the novelty wears off. 13 year olds can have busy schedules (sports, clubs, school, etc. etc.) These animals need to be tended to multiple times a day. This will be your job when the kids get busy.
One final point: Are you prepared to take on the entomological aspects of this hobby?
You're going to have to raise a lot of bugs. If you want the animal to have the best possible situation, you must culture the largest variety of feeder insects you can get your hands on. Roaches, worms, crickets, mantids, flies.....they'll all need to live in your house as well.

-Brad

Thank you everyone. This is actually kind of confusing me. :p Also, just as an extra, my kids are 100% free on the week ends and are not in any after school activities. I also home school them.
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Someone being home a lot is a great plus in chameleon keeping!
What exactly are you confused about? If we can clear anything up let us know.
I'm very glad that you are doing research before embarking on cham keeping.
Let me say that if your boys were trying to find the most difficult and challenging reptile to care for....they succeeded!
It's really a matter (at this point) of whether your household is excited/passionate about taking on this challenge or would rather explore a reptile that is less demanding.

-Brad
 

Mikew2006

New Member
Are they after 1 each? or 1 to share, because if they want one each then i would say get 2 of the same sex (pref males as females can and will lay eggs whether they have mated or not) only saying this as it would rule out the chance of them mating and thats a can of worms you dont wanna be opening!
 

Laragail

New Member
As stated above, I think that your kids could handle it as long as you take some responsibility yourself.

Keep in mind that a well cared for chameleon can live up to ten years.

Consider what will happen in three years, when your kids are 16 they may be more interested in partying then caring for a chameleon. Can you take on some of the duties if your kids go through this phase?

Also consider that the chameleon may still be alive when its time for your kids to go to college.

What will you do if they can't take it to a dorm? (of course if you have the means for them to live off campus this wouldn't be an issue)

Overall, I think that it would be a great learning opportunity for them, as long as you are prepared to take on a great deal of responsibility.

If you do decide to let them get a chameleon I suggest that you begin by first letting them try breeding their own insects.

this will save them a lot of money in the long run and help prepare them for the duties ahead.

Also, Have its habitat completely set up and ready to go, practice maintaining the right temperatures and humidity.

Once they've mastered these things, go for it!
 
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Scarlet

New Member
Someone being home a lot is a great plus in chameleon keeping!
What exactly are you confused about? If we can clear anything up let us know.
I'm very glad that you are doing research before embarking on cham keeping.
Let me say that if your boys were trying to find the most difficult and challenging reptile to care for....they succeeded!
It's really a matter (at this point) of whether your household is excited/passionate about taking on this challenge or would rather explore a reptile that is less demanding.

-Brad

Well, I actually meant that I am getting a little bit of mixed answers. Thank you everyone for your opinions, it is really helpful.

Thanks again,
Scarlet
 

roo_71

New Member
I am not going to read through all the posts so sorry if I repeat a few things …

Age has nothing to do with it really but maturity certainly helps. It depends on the individual. A safe bet would be no, a 13 year old cant handle it – especially if this is their first reptile – that pretty much solidifies my answer of no too.

There is a substantial start up cost AND a maintenance cost including vet bills if need be.

I wouldn’t buy one from a pet store –EVER EVER EVER. They generally don’t properly tend the chams needs so buying from pets stores just encourages them to stock more and in turn continue to keep them poorly.

Kids/teens also tend to have phases …. So the cham may be exciting this month but next month the girl next door might be getting all the attention. Chams are a long term commitment which could last years. I can almost promise you that some point YOU will be the primary care taker for the cham. I see this ALL THE TIME …. Kids want pet, parents get pet, in the end parents take care of pet.

I just don’t see good end results so I am practically begging you to get a bearded dragon or a crested gecko instead.

Also, when you read through these posts … take note of how long people have had their chameleons and how old these people are. Comments from keepers who have owned a cham for a month don’t weigh much compared to keepers who have been in the hobby for years. Not saying the newbs don’t having anything good to say … just keep things in perspective.

-roo
 
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