Preparing for Holiday Chaos

Our companions look to us for their confidence and understanding. The Holidays bring uncertain people and events.

Preparing for Holiday Chaos

 The Holidays are on the way, which also means friends and family are on the way. Which can be a stressful time for us and our companions. There's an angle to the stress that can get overlooked when dealing with so much incoming chaos.

What about family and friends our companions just do not like, at all. Let's face it, sometimes we all just don't see eye to eye. And sometimes we do, but our companions have no interest in the Dinner Party mentality of rationalizing feelings because it's the Holidays. Parrots don't use calendars and they do not take into account Holiday designations. These dates as we prescribe them are irrelevant to a companion parrot.

As people come and go with voices, objects, sounds, smells, abrupt bangs, clangs and screeches your companion is going to be looking to you for protection, calm words, strong communication via routines and schedules and most importantly physical barricading against certain people. Yup, let's get real here. There are some people we will have over that will just stress our companions out. There is no way around that truth. Parrots do not suffer the Dinner Party Complex.

Be mindful of the personalities that are coming your parrot's way. We as humans, mentally prepare ourselves for things, because we are the ones planning those things. So we can "prepare ourselves" for Uncle Barney and his rudeness, or Grandma and her inability to understand personal space for humans and animals. Or possibly your brother who sees all animals as "pets" and objects to look at and then dismiss. He finds humor in marginalizing your companions as an entertaining moment of "Polly want a cracker?" pokes.

January is a busy time of year for me as an advocate, I spend quite a bit of emailing time readjusting flocks after days or weeks of visitor impact. That's what I like to call it. You see, you were mentally preparing for weeks. Your companion has no idea what you are doing really or what you are planning for when. Generally, they are an immediate moment type of family member. Sure we can say, "Grandpa is coming over!" and there are portions of communication that will compute. But what they can not compute is stressful interactions, forceful personalities, flippant personalities, or time. We can't say "Hang in there, they will be leaving at 7". Parrots don't use clocks like we do.

Remember your communication routes that will allow your companion to understand your simple intentions. Certain bowls at certain times, curtains drawn at certain times, those indicators that affirm to your companion, a bystander during these visitor impacts, that although stress is in the room, YOU are still here communicating.

Of course not all companions are fearful, some seem to revel in visitor impact. They thrive, show off, and literally own the day. Some do not. And some, some perfect parrot personalities just can not assimilate any of the lost comforts to the impacts. They just look to their flock, waiting it out.

For those companions, and in answer to any personalities that may just not be able to self regulate inside your home. Offer a space and location for your parrot that is off limits to guests. Fill it with the familiar, light it comfortably and allow them line of sight to watch the chaos, but yet retreat away from it all.

And visit them consistently with a kind word, a shared food and assurances.

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