Gotta get this off my chest, then I'll stop asking

Sarah - posted on 01/04/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

378

18

29

I've been trying in both mom forums like this and parrot forums to get some help integrating life with a parrot & life with a baby, now toddler. The bird forums are polite but have no clue. Most owners there have grown kids if any.
But the mom forums "AAAAAAHHHH!"...okay let me explain.
Rowdy, our male African Grey Parrot, is a rescue and like rescues do sometimes, he has fits. They are smart enough & have a good enough memory to sort of have PTSD if they've had any "issues" in their past.
If you think your kid screams loud...be in the room when a parrot has a fit. (but bring earplugs lol)
Anyway loudness not being the only issue I've asked for advice about multiple things. You know what the moms, the ones who won't admit they're clueless, tell me...
Get rid of the bird!!!!!! Really?!
He has NEVER posed a danger to my daughter besides a slightly grumpier mom sometimes. Yes her hearing at every check-up has been fine.
How about the next time your stepchild interferes with your biological child you consider getting rid of the stepkid?!
I know it's not exactly the same but that's how it feels.
Do you even know how hard it is for a rescue parrot to find a good home? Let alone the fact that we're his 6th home in his 23 years! Do you understand they have about the intelligence of a 2 or 3 year old human child, and if we "got rid" of him he could actually feel betrayed, making it harder for him to get adopted!
I was hoping for A LITTLE MORE CREATIVITY! Thank You! If you can't help or even be supportive then why are you even responding!
On that note, I'll understand if this post gets no replies. lol
(EXHALE) I feel a little better. Thanks for "listening". ;)

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kellie - posted on 01/04/2012

1,994

8

163

Ahh yep that is PERFECTLY understandable! A human who has been treated like he has are usually the same. My parents were Heroin Addicts and sometimes various family members would take me in and apparently I would follow the Mum around because being a child I was desperate for what I wasn't getting, a Mum. So I can understand your Birds behaviour perfectly.

I would do what you would do with a human child, keep reassuring him that you love him, talk to him, pat him, give him attention (but not 24/7, he does need to learn he is not the only 'person' in the whole world lol), include him when you're interacting with your daughter, but again not all of the time as she needs one on one with Mummy too.

Even read up on child behaviour, such as when a new baby is introduced to the family and the first born gets their nose all out of joint (which is only natural), you'll probably find advice in there you can modify and adapt to your situation and needs.

[deleted account]

I've never had a bird, but I've seen one have a tantrum and OMG!! LOUD!!

I may be clueless too, but you say the intelligence level is at about that of a 2-3 year old, and the behavior is somewhat like rivalry. Perhaps you can find some activity that all 3 of you can do together? Like reading a book or singing?

A friend of ours has an African Parrot--it's the same bird I heard throw a tantrum--anyway, it LOVE's to listen to her read books.
When visitors come, it is very jealous and likes to....scream, for lack of a better word. To calm it, we often take short turns reading a poem or two to it. (sorry for the "it" I only see this bird about once a year if that and I can't remember the sex, doesn't help that it's name is Colorado--honestly, what kind of name is that?)

Another thing that helped me with my clingy toddler, which may or may not help with a bird is to set a timer for one-on-one time. With J, my son, I would set a timer for 15 minutes and he would get my undivided attention for the entire time. Then when it rang, I would set it for 15 again during which he would get no attention and I would do my own work. After a day or so, he was not so clingy when I wasn't with him because he knew I'd be there in just a few minutes. Over time, I was able to gradually increase the time between play sessions. Perhaps knowing you will come back to play with him and having some signal like a bell would relax your bird.

Also, I would recommend having the one on one time with your little person in a separate room from the bird--I can only imagine it would be rather irritating for the poor bird to be sitting in a corner ignored watching you shower the little "impostor" with attention. ;)

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

15 Comments

View replies by

Holly Janelle - posted on 01/05/2012

257

11

13

I get how ppl can say "get rid of the bird!" especially if you have a child of your own because nothing in the whole world could match the importance of your own child, but I do see your point also.

I'm with kellie there has got to be someone out the that can help you with the behavioral problems with your bird so that you can better understand what he is trying to say to you/ what point he is trying to get across/ what his emotional needs are. I wish you the best of luck and I think it's very sweet what you are doing.

Sarah - posted on 01/04/2012

378

18

29

Thank you all soooo much! It is sooo wonderful to finally get some good responses!
Yes Katherine, timeouts for birds. ;) It totally works! Though only for the smart ones like the big parrots.
Michelle, Rowdy roams our apartment, just up on platforms and ropes so he's never within reach of little hands. Also yes Rowdy and Sophia get attention from each other but not physically yet. She doesn't comprehend the danger enough & her hands are too small to be bitten.
Kelly, unless you've had them blood tested, it can be hard for even an owner to determine the sex of the bird. Don't feel bad. :) Also the timer thing is an interesting idea for the daughter & the bird. Thanks!
Amanda, they can get that way very easily. And good for you for knowing your limits and not getting one if you don't think you could take it. When we got Rowdy we weren't planning on having kids in such the near future.
Johnny, that means alot what you said about Sophia turning out better for having Rowdy around! Thank you! I don't know if cats throw tantrums directly but my brother-in-law's cat used to pee & poop on his clean laundry when she was mad at him. LOL
Thank you all sooo much!!

[deleted account]

Can I ask you a question though? How long to they live? Colorado has got to be going on around 30 years or more now! I've never thought about it really, the bird's been around since I was little!

Johnny - posted on 01/04/2012

8,686

26

318

I can't begin to help you with the bird, as I have never had a bird and I am definitely not a bird person. I am a cat person though, and one of my cats is a rescue who sounds quite a bit like your bird. Very needy and suffering from a difficult past. And he is the loudest cat I have ever met. He woke our daughter repeatedly as a baby with his caterwauling. Luckily though, he doesn't throw tantrums (do cats throw tantrums?) Anyway, a few people told me to give him away, and I might have considered it, but only if I knew a sweet little old lady with no other pets who could lavish all her attention and care on him. Like I said, he's needy. But I never met someone like that, so he's still here with us, waking us at 4 am for his early morning pets. Brat.

I tend to think that life with pets builds character and compassion in children. Is it really good for kids to see us give away our pets because they are bothersome? Doubtful. What is great for kids is watching us manage the difficulties, work through it, and still love those animals. They have to learn to share our attention and to care for something less smart, powerful, and smaller than them.

And truthfully, I really don't like birds. But I commend you for taking on this challenge, offering him a stable home and teaching your child about compassion as they grow. I'm willing to be your kid will turn out better having lived with this bird than the kids of the people who would suggest you just get rid of him.

Amanda - posted on 01/04/2012

1,675

13

304

Katherine, the damn thing behaved like a child, and was spoilt rotton. I swear he thought he was a person, I was devastated when he died. I'd love to get another one but I don't have the time to put into it.

Amanda - posted on 01/04/2012

1,675

13

304

We had birds, but before kids. The last one, Charlie died the week before I had my son.
He was super needy and very very protective over me, I'm sure we would have had rivalry issues if he'd still been around when my son was born, so much that I had a plan of action in place for when bubs arrived.
I would suggest treat the bird as another child and try and divide your time so both the parrot and your child gets one on one attention with you.
I know with my bird if I had to put him back in the cage to do house work or go shopping I would tell him what I was doing (kind of the same as you would do with a clingy child) it was normally followed by the response "Charlie wanna come too"
When he wanted to play and I couldn't do it I would tell him that I will play soon and he had to wait.
For bad behaviour like temper tantrums or when hubby came home from work and would come in to give me a kiss the bird would puff himself up, his eyes would go red and he would chase my husband away spitting and biting him, the bird would get time out

Ashley - posted on 01/04/2012

863

2

155

I amagin your parot is jelus could you have play time with him lol just like when you have two kids make time for each, have you thought about getting him a friend may be more work not sure if that would be worse or not, and you could always get ahold of some perfeshional parot trainers and see what thay say. best of luck my mom had one when she was a kid and i loved all the storys she would tell us about him.

Katherine - posted on 01/04/2012

65,420

232

4956

I have had birds before (lots) not with kids though. They are very demanding especially if they are rescue. Maybe you can spend some "me" time with him/her for a little bit a day to reassure the bird. I'm sure it was deprived of affection and starving for it.

Although I've never heard of a bird having tantrums lol.

Michelle - posted on 01/04/2012

1,606

10

224

I have a friend who has several large birds(all rescued) and a nearly three year old. I think there was a but of an adjustment period for everyone. Hers actually roam her apartment at times. Her daughter gets along with some of the birds better then others. they were slowly introduced to each other. They kind of became playmates. I realize this may or may not work for you, but it may help with your attention issue.

Sarah - posted on 01/04/2012

378

18

29

Thanks Kellie! That is soooooo nice to hear!
It's a time management issue really. The bird is almost as needy as my daughter. Not for basic life stuff beyond food and water but for emotional development.
One of his big issues is he was ignored in the past and I can't get him to understand the difference between being ignored and just not being the most important being in the room. lol
That's why I've come to mom forums. It's a little sibling rivalry-ish.

Kellie - posted on 01/04/2012

1,994

8

163

You'll find that a lot of people don't consider animals anywhere near on par with humans and "get rid of it" will be a lot of peoples first response.

What exactly is it you're wanting to do with him? change his behaviour? Stop his fits? I've never had birds, Parrots or otherwise so I probably wouldn't have much intellient advice for you either, but could a Vet help? Or someone who is in the anima behaviour field, even someone who has been involved with animals for years like at your local shelter may be able to help.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms