Preparing Your Parrots for Holiday Chaos
The Holiday Season 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.
What if our companions just do not like our visitors, at all? What if 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 we prescribe 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 birds out.
Be mindful of the personalities that are coming your parrot's way. We can mentally prepare ourselves for things, because we are the ones planning those things. We can "prepare ourselves" for Uncle Barney and his rudeness, or Grandma and her inability to understand personal space for humans and animals. Or the brother who sees all animals as objects to look at and then dismiss. He finds humor in marginalizing your birds as an entertaining moment of "Polly want a cracker?" pokes.
You were mentally preparing for weeks. Your companion has no idea what you are doing or what you are planning for when. Parrots are a here and now family member.
Sure, we can say, "Grandpa is coming over!" and there are portions of communication that will compute. But what they cannot 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.
Remember your communication routes.
Actions and items that will allow your companion to understand your intentions.
- Certain bowls at certain times.
- Curtains drawn at certain times.
- Indicators that affirm to your companion, you are still communicating.
Not all companions are fearful, some revel in visitor impact. They thrive, show off, and literally own the day. But some perfect parrot personalities just cannot assimilate any of the lost comforts to these impacts. They just wait it out.
For those companions who shrink into themselves and just wait it out.
- 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 you but retreat away from the chaos.
- And visit them consistently with a kind word, a shared food, and assurances.
- Affirm to your companion, you are still communicating.