Posted Dec 21, 2014
We inherited 4 Diamondback Terrapin's from a friend who could no longer take care of them.
We found that we had totally underestimated (or had been mis-informed about!) the amount of time and care involved in looking after such reptiles, as they would regularly make a mess of the tank. It got really smelly very quickly, so we had to clean out the tank at least a couple of times a week, which became a bit of a "chore".
Initially, the children were excited by them, and would ask to handle them. But after the novelty wore off, they focused their attentions back on our other - more interactive - pets. The terrapins then unfortunately became something that sat in the tank in the corner of the room, and for the amount of work required in keeping them vs. the amount of attention they received, we decided that it would be better to re-home them with a person who held more passion for reptiles.
I have heard people recommend terrapins as a good first pet for children to learn how to take care and responsibility of a pet. However, due to the long life span that they have, and the limited interaction the child could have with them, I would say that I would not support this recommendation, and instead would go for something a little shorter in life span and one that can do a little more, e.g. a Hamster.