When Raising your Kids to be Smart and Self-Reliant Backfires

Yesterday, my pre-teen daughter’s friends rescued a bunny.

You can see where this is going.

She started the conversation with, “I just want you to listen…” and laid out a very thorough plan to prove that she can care for it (including cleaning her room and the fish tank — I’ve tried for years to get her to help; and finishing her music theory book ahead of schedule — we had to pull out out the big guns just to get 10 minutes a day); that it’s not expensive (detailed list, including better places to buy things — her friend used to have a bunny, and estimates for vet care); that it’s easy (shorter list of things her friend did, and her friend offered to bunny sit while we travel); and that she really, really wants it.

We both said, No. Repeatedly. She’s still working on her room and theory (alternating each minute — her plan, so I’m staying out of it) and telling her brother where the bunny will live. We tried, “It’s nice to enjoy the fantasy, but remember that’s not reality.” Didn’t work. We tried No again. She says it’s still possible we might change our mind.

Sigh. Her friend’s mom says they need to decide within a month. It’s going to be a long month.

Right now, Daughter is walking to the neighbourhood plaza, which has a new vet office, to find out “how much a visit costs and how often we need to go.” (I suspect a rescue bunny is going to cost more, but cost isn’t the reason we’re refusing. We just aren’t pet people, and bunnies live 10-15 years.)

She’s smart, thorough, focused, self-reliant and dedicated. Sigh.


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