Are Gliders good pets for children?
I would say if your children are at the age that you even have to ask,
There are very few exceptions to that, maybe your kid's one of those. But even a really responsible loving child will have a hard time with a glider . (See Clarification note at the end!!!)
1. They are very high maintenance, need freshly made food daily & have very difficult needs, beyond the capabilities (and attention spans) of most children.
2. They are nocturnal. Most do not want to be annoyed during the day. Do you WANT your kid up at midnight for the needed 2 hour out of cage time per day?
3. In 15 years a lot of things change. Depending on the age of your kid, they could still have gliders to care for when they go to college (and let me tell you, finding pet friendly housing is HARD! I have been through it!) or get married! (Will their wife or hubby be okay with needing a babysitter for their honeymoon?)
Will your child still be as attentive to their suggie. . .
when they start dating?
get a part-time job?
learn to drive?
graduate high school?
when they see a puppy at the pet store?
when someone makes fun of them for carrying a pouch around the house?
YOUR life will change, too. Gliders are a family affair! Will you take care of it when the child forgets or is not able? What about when you want to go on vacation or move? Or have a baby?
4. Gliders can be a little SCARY to young children (and
Hee hee!]. Their nails can be very sharp if not attended
to. They may crab loudly when a child approaches.
They can deliver a nasty bite if frightened or frustrated,
especially at first when it is important to "take the bite."
Could you tell your 8 year old "no, don't pull away! If
they bite, show no fear! They will get better that way."
They also have a tendency to jump onto your FACE when
they like you. Now, I think it is adorable, but I have seen
a 10 year old absolutely wet himself when it happened
5. Many parents agree to a child's plea for a pet, provided they "earn the money yourself." Glider$ are $upper expen$ive!!! You should be VERY wary of gliders for $100 or less. They may be unhealthy, bad temperament, or come from a horrible glider mill. The price does depend on your area. Here in Utah $200 is typical, though some are much more. They are social animals and should not be alone, so at least double that. If you get a male you will want to get him fixed. If you have had a dog or cat you may be expecting to pay around 50 bucks. But to deal with that tiny marsupial anatomy? Expect $100 each, at LEAST. Food, vitamins, etc. can be very pricey, especially when certain fruits are out of season. For instance the Vits I buy cost me about $40 every 3 months. Cages need to be big and high quality. . . good quality pouches. . . toys. . . water bottles. . . it adds up. We'll say you got stuff really cheap and just paid $200 for it all.
Add that up and that is at the very least $620 in the first year. . . NOT counting food, unexpected vet visits, cage litter, gas prices getting stuff for them and finding an exotic vet, or kennel/babysitting if you decide to take a family trip. . . all of which could all end up EASILY costing you an additional $680. They live 15 years. They ARE worth it (to me anyway) but that is not exactly the kind of funds you have babysitting for neighbors, shoveling snow, or cleaning your room for allowance.