By Jodie Lynn
My four-year-old daughter has been talking the past few days about getting a pet rabbit from her dad for Easter. I'm not sure if he is doing this to irritate me or not, since we are divorced. I don't want to be the bad guy in this scenario but do not know what to do. He hasn't mentioned it to me at all. How should I handle this?
ANSWER FROM READER:
You will need to talk with your ex-husband about the situation. Maybe he just doesn't realize the responsibility involved. If you two can discuss this without getting angry at each other, do so as soon as possible. Suggest that he at least talk to a professional who has plenty of experience with taking care of rabbits. Once he finds out about the time-consuming responsibilities involved, he might change his mind quickly. - T. C. in Dallas, GA
Unfortunately, each year around Easter, there is a large quantity of rabbits sold as a gift for a child or children. After a couple of months or so, most families are under pressure to get rid of the animal due to various reasons. Of course, there are many scenarios where the rabbit actually does work out as a family pet. However, these are usually the families where everyone is old enough to chip in to take care of the rabbit and to share the responsibilities. Mention the situation to him first to confirm what you have been hearing from your daughter. Perhaps she has misunderstood. He may not be planning on purchasing a real animal but a stuffed one instead. If he does say that he is planning on getting one for a pet, regardless of what you say, make it clear that he will need to keep it at his house only. If you explain this to your daughter early enough, she will understand ahead of time that her new pet will only be at Dad's house and cannot be brought to your house. If she asks why, just say something along the lines that rabbits prefer their own home and environment and do not particularly like to visit other ones. She may accept this explanation better and want the rabbit to be happy at his own home.
CAN YOU HELP?
My son's second grade teacher is constantly praising the efforts of her students in the classroom, as well as pointing out each child separately if they display extra elbow grease for anything at all. My husband and I do not want to do this about every little thing that he does. Since we don't, our son will sometimes refuse to do things unless we praise him first. How's the best way to discuss this with his teacher without causing ill feelings?
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