Gliders and Children

Posted By: BenC

Gliders and Children - 11/19/10 01:54 AM

I looked around a bit but didn't see any thread on Gliders and Children, so starting one here.

Anyway, my question, once my glider is bonded to me (getting there), how do I go about introducing her to two of my kids? Sabrina is 8 and very mature, Antonio is 5 would have to be very closely supervised.

I'd like to hear how most families interact with their gliders. What works, what doesn't. What sort of problems to expect.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/19/10 02:42 AM

Hmmmm....I guess mostly a subject like this would fall under every glider and every child is different, so what works for one family may not work for another. I have fairly well-behaved gliders, and my boyfriend's daughter is exceptionally attentive to what I tell her. Emily is just a little scared of the gliders, I think, because she jumps pretty high when they crab! I've let her hold the bonding pouch when we are in a store. She is still little enough she fits in the front part of the cart, where I would normally put them and my purse, so she feels really special and I still get to put them in sort-of the same space.

She likes to "help" me feed the gliders - mostly she takes a big spoonful of BML. She does help carry their dishes from the kitchen to the cage, or put dirty ones in the sink, and she will ask about their water bottle now before I grab it. We feed treats together, which usually involves her sneaking a zillion yoggie treats for HER mouth, lol. She likes to pet the gliders, and I let her, supervised. She tells me now, "Be easy" like I need the reminding.

Really the only problem we have had was very slight. Oreo was on my shoulder and did enough butt-wiggle that I knew he was going to fly - I told Em "He's gonna jump" and she turned to look at me, just in time to get her own face-hug. It scared her good but she wasn't hurt. Poor Oreo was shaking himself, since she'd squealed into him, lol. But no one got hurt, she had some tiny scratches on her face from the landing that were gone the next day. Emily knows they are my gliders and she has to ask to touch them. I've got the cage I built rigged in such a way that she can't operate the closure, and when I had the zippered reptarium I always left the pulls out of her reach. Those are the only rules we've had to put into place.
Posted By: BenC

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/19/10 03:01 AM


Thank you for sharing. I learned a little something from that and I'll make sure the kids share a role in helping to feed, clean the cage. I would love to hear from others...
Posted By: wildlifeangel

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/19/10 06:32 AM

I have kids visit on occasion, I am careful to only let them see the gliders, and the ones that are my sweetest, I let the kids pet them. I am very careful about letting them play, since the kids get very jumpy and/or squirmy when the gliders are walking on them. My biggest fear is letting the kids hold them... since they can easily squeeze them too tight.
Posted By: Rubym

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/19/10 06:11 PM

I own a daycare and the kids have all seen the gliders so they know whats in the bonding pouch but they dont touch. They know that the sugar gliders are babies and we have to " look not touch babies", lol. They are all used to the hatchling geckos so they know all about baby rules.
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/19/10 10:12 PM

I have my grand-kids around most of the time. They are not allowed to hold any of the gliders unless I'm sitting right there with them. This goes for the 3 yr old, all the way up to the 19 yr old.
Posted By: BenC

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/20/10 02:14 AM

I have my grand-kids around most of the time. They are not allowed to hold any of the gliders unless I'm sitting right there with them. This goes for the 3 yr old, all the way up to the 19 yr old.

I get that they need to be supervised, I'm curious about their interaction and how you introduce them. Understanding that you have placed restrictions, how do kids handle it?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/20/10 02:33 AM

Emily only pushed boundaries a couple time. I told her not to pet my hamster on the nose, and sure enough, she got bit. So I didn't even have to teach her that lesson. The one time she tucked 3 yoggies in her mouth after I said, "That's enough" she didn't get to help out next time. I think the key is consistency, like with anything else we teach children. If she doesn't mind, she knows there are consequences, and the worst type of punishment I can give her is to not include her in whatever I am doing.

As far as her introduction to the gliders, I set up their cage and she kinda glanced at it but didn't pay attention to it. She was two at this time. Then, that night, the gliders started barking and she came to me with the question, "Where doggy?" So I told her it wasn't a doggy, but a sugar glider, and I held her hand and we walked into their darkened room and I showed her where they were in the cage with the light on my cell phone. I told her they were Jessica's very special pets that she takes special care of and that we weren't going to play with them tonight, but maybe she could pet them in the morning. She stared at them for a little bit and I guess got it settled in her mind that they looked enough like squirrels that they weren't scary, and that she really didn't like sitting in the dark so much even if Jessica was in the room, and she'd just have to see about them later. She did ask about them in the morning and we had our first little sit together with treats. I will let her hold the pouch sometimes, but only sitting, she asks me before she does anything. It's a treat to her, so she never questions why I say yes or no to something.
Posted By: snowbabygliders

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/20/10 03:22 AM

i think every situation and every child is different. like my 4 year old Mckenzie. She is very gentle and when supervised is allowed to help mommy with the joeys and playtime. She knows without telling that she needs to wash her hands and sanitize before and after leaving the glider room with mommy.

She is the gentlest and would never squish a joey. She loves and begs to see the gliders, to hold the babies and to see who has babies oop. I am there supervising her very closely and every step of the way. She is my child, so i wouldn't let other children hold my joeys TBH just her. Here are some pics of her and how well she holds them. that was lil sabrina

this is lil ariel

here is lil tucker

and this is her

She is ever so gentle and like i said is only allowed in the glider room when i am directly by her side and only allowed to hold the gliders as long as she is directly supervised.

I don't recommend this for all children. i must stress very direct supervision and i really would not let others' kids hold our babies here. however Mckenzie is a pro at it i swear lol! I have five and she is really the only one i know can properly handle the gliders with supervision. I think its a great learning experience for her and she learns how to be patient and learns the love of all animals.

the introduction for her to gliders was easy. we did tent time at the time together. I had her sit down with treats in her hand and told her the gliders would come to her. then it progressed to her petting them and feeling very comfortable. finally she felt very comfortable and at ease and asked if she could hold them. I kept the nails trimmed and instructed her how to hold her hands and to move slowly and gently. from there on out she has it down pat. she is such a sweetheart with the joeys. its great to experience babies here with my daughter. I hope she has the same love for animals as mom does from this when she grows older.
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/20/10 03:26 AM

For the 3 & 4 yr old kids, I sit right there, with my hand next to theirs. I explain beforehand, that the glider might crab, nyitch, tickle or scratch, poop or pee on them and to not move fast or make loud sounds. If they're not used to handling them, I let them just pet the glider as I hold it and remind them they have to be very gentle. When they get used to the glider and vice versa, I'll let them hold it. I show them how to slide their hand under the glider, and not to pick it up from the top. I tell them to be prepared for the glider to dive into their shirt (which they inevitably do). I let them feed bites of grapes or jicama. Most of the gliders seem to enjoy it. It's really great for rescues that are ready to be rehomed, so they're used to different people.

Bug and I do tent time and he has learned to prepare himself for face hugs. He does very well with them and doesn't panic. I was in the bathroom one night and heard him walking down the hall, calling out to me, but not shouting. He told me a glider got out and he held his hand out so it could jump in him. When I opened the door, he stood there with Miss Boo-Boo on his head!
Posted By: snowbabygliders

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/20/10 03:32 AM

that pretty much summed up what i told my daughter before we introduced her to holding the gliders. wink

connie that sounds so sweet! and funny! i can just picture miss boo-boo on his head LOL! mlove
Posted By: BenC

Re: Gliders and Children - 11/20/10 11:12 PM

Wow, great posts and Kristy thank you for sharing the pictures of the gliders and your lovely daughter. I thinking that I'll start with my daughter and as you described, explain everything that she needs to expect and as Jess did make her understand it's a privilege to handle her.

My kids are being really good at understanding that they need to wait until Luna is comfortable with us. They're happy with just peeking in on her while she's in the cage. Hoping at some later date, they can interact more with her.
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