Yesterday we were asked about convincing your family that they should allow you to get a pet snake. This was actually an article that we had planned on doing and the email has just prompted us to take a look at this issue sooner rather than later.
In this article we will take a look at what it takes to convince another party to allow you to have a snake as a pet. We will discuss:
- The importance of education
- How to present the idea
- Getting “them” used to the idea
- Knowing what you are talking about
- Before you even think of bringing a snake home you need to know as much as you can about them. Particularly you need to have as much information as possible about the species you have an interest in. First and foremost you want your family (and friends) to come to you to get the right answers. Right meaning correct, not right mean what best supports your case. You want to be educated in regards to a potential snake because you want to be able to educate others.
At minimum you want to be able to answer basic questions like these:
- How big will it get?
- How big of a cage does it need?
- What does it eat?
- Do snakes have any diseases?
- Does it need special lighting or heating?
- How much will the snake and everything else cost?
The point isn’t to know just answers to a few generic questions but to know as much as you possibly can.
- Telling others you want a snake
- There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about doing this. The wrong way would sound something like this.
“Mom, can I have a snake?”
Most moms (and dads) will simply say no and go on with their day. You need to bring the subject up a little bit at a time. When I first wanted a snake I spent almost 6 months hinting at the idea. I’d be sure to watch any nature show about snake’s that I could. I’d bring books home from the library. Occasionally I’d talk about how “cool” it would be to have a snake.
Over that six months I basically acclimated my mother into the idea of having a snake as a pet, but never once did I say I wanted one. In fact she was the one who suggested that I think about getting one. Clearly every parent is different, but I’ve talked to a few people who used the same approach combining education and acclimation and they’ve had similar results.
- The comfort of the familiar
- People are taught not to like snakes, to fear them. The familiar snakes are to people the more comfortable they will be with the idea of one living in their house. Every person you have to convince is different. It might take you a few years, or it might take you a day or two. The process will go faster and much smoother if you make them familiar with snakes from the beginning.
In the end the best hope you have to convince someone that you should be allowed a pet snake is a three fold process. Education, presentation, and familiarity. It’s not an exact science and things don’t have to progress in a specific order but all three parts need to be in place. You want to make them as interested in snakes as you are.