Archive for the ‘Training dogs and children’ category

Firm friendly follow-through

March 21, 2011
Kids having fun in the snow, playing, learning natural and logical consequences, how to make good decisions, going 60 miles away, 60 miles an hour. Parenting: about. How to parent, Teenagers, tweens, toddlers, school age, how to parent, parenting teenagers, setting boundaries. related, respectful, reasonable, "Dr. JAne Nelsen, Ph.D. " "Dr. Alfred Adler" "Dr. Rudolf Driekurs" Learning to make good decisions is really important. Parent/child relationship, "tough love" starts early. playing in snow is fun.

Teach kids NOT to skate on thin ice!

On Saturday a scout leader at the Polar Bear Derby (rescheduled from January) told me that he had repeatedly warned his son and the other kids to stay away from the half-melted pond.

Alas, his child got wet.

“I had to take him home for dry clothes and bring him back,” the scout leader said, shaking his head with disappointment.

How wonderful to know Dad will bail out Junior no matter what.  

Or is it wonderful?

Kids who never experience the related outcome of their decisions do not learn to take responsibility for their actions.

Junior learned:

  1. He doesn’t have to listen to Dad — even when his safety is at hand;
  2. Dad will bail him out and he still gets to participate , despite his poor choice.
  3. He can continue to make bad decisions because good ol’ Dad will bail him out.

I’m interested in the big picture and what precedent Dad set. Tough Love is a group of parents of young adults who have realized they constantly enable their child to make bad decisions. The parents must learn  to say No, I won’t bail you out again from the poor choices you made, which often involve substance abuse and addiction.

It’s hard for parents to say “NO” or to deny Junior the Polar Bear Derby.

Dad could have let Junior experience being wet and cold. Junior could have asked to be taken home or gone inside the lodge to warm up.

Ideally, Dad could teach Junior to listen at home, BEFORE the Polar Bear Derby. It takes time, patience and consistency to teach children to listen and make good decisions. Investing the time, patience and consistency in making small decisions may someday save your child’s life.

The goal is for children to become teens who will make good decisions when they become teenagers and they’re 60 miles away, going 60 miles an hour.

Will the young person who is 60 miles away, going 60 miles an hour:

  • Be driving the speed limit?
  • Wearing a seatbelt?
  • Be with friends you know and like?
  • Sober and focused on driving?
  • Have told you the truth about where they are and what they’re doing?
  • Made good choices around sexuality?

Start now to teach good decision-making by giving children enough rope to burn but not enough to hang. Let them experience small repercussions, like being cold and wet during the Polar Bear Derby, forgetting homework or mittens, not being able to find their sporting equipment because they didn’t put it away.

It will pay off in the long run.

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Use the crate when dogs and kids make bad choices

January 17, 2011
This is Lily in her crate, which she likes because she is contained. She gets a break. The crate is like a playpen -- it's safe place to go where you can play and not get into trouble. You can lie down take a nap and no one will bother you. You know what is expected of you. It can be a relief to go in there because it limits your choices. It's safe. Dog Crates and baby playpens are useful when TRaining Dogs and children to behave and to learn discipline. Toddlers, preschoolers, school-age, tweens, and teens can benefit from the "playpen" of their rooms. They can feel safe and contained. Sometimes they need to be restrained and have some time to think about their behavior. Sometimes parents need a break.

Lily goes to her crate voluntarily. It's like a playpen for a toddler or a teen's room. It's her space, a place no one can bother her, and she's safe. A crate is a wonderful place for a puppy.

I believe in using containment when training dogs and children. When Lily the puppy chews on a plant, I crate her with a chew toy. When a toddler puts a fork in an outlet, he goes into the playpen.  “Act, don’t Yak!”  [Dr. Sam Goldstein]  Dogs and children of all ages respond to action. They tune out lectures.

Dogs and tots-to-teens can benefit from containment in a crate, playpen or bedroom. They feel safe in their space. It provides contemplation time for parents and young people.

Even though I shepherded four teenagers through adolescence, I never grounded them as punishment. I did shorten their leash when they made poor choices. I didn’t let them use my car except to get to work.  I said, “You can have your friends over here while I am home” or “You can stay home with us tonight and watch ‘Lassie’ ” or another G-rated movie.

The trouble with grounding and using violent punishment to train a dog or child —  like yelling, berating, belittling and hitting  — is that it breeds revenge, resentment and rebellion. It shows children and dogs that bullying works to get others to do what you want. I used to think children had to feel pain and be punished to learn. I was wrong. They have to feel consequences to learn, but they don’t have to be violent.

Positive discipline always looks for the three Rs — related-respectful-reasonable  [Jane Nelsen Ph.D.] — in a natural or logical consequence. It works for dogs and humans. When Lily doesn’t come when she’s called, she gets put on the leash because she has demonstrated she can’t be trusted.

When young people show they can’t be trusted, their leash gets shortened. They must stay closer to home, in their room or playpen, where they can re-group and feel contained.

Dogs and kids both respond to encouragement, kindness, firmness and consistency. Children and dogs both want to please. When parents bully, children and dogs become bitter and mean. Then they feel hurt and want to hurt back their parents. They can become bullies and/or victims.

When Lily makes a good decision, I shower her with “good dog!” and lots of petting. Tots-to-teens respond to encouragement, too. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a good reminder to work on non-violent parenting skills. Parents, dogs and children can be trained in non-violent discipline.

If you can train a dog, you can train a child

January 13, 2011

The worst thing about taking care of two extra dogs is the puppy, Lily.  When I remember she’s a puppy, I take time for training. It’s the same for children, toddlers, preschoolers, tweens, and teens. Adjust my expectations for their age and take time for training.

Lily had the annoying habit of rushing through an open door. The other two dogs followed her exuberance and created chaos every time the front door opened. UGH!

I took the time to train Lily.

1. I had a plan. Before I opened the door, I told her to “hold it” and used a hand signal. Dogs understand the idea, Act, don’t Yak. [Source: Dr. Sam Goldstein.]

2. When she tried to rush out the door, I used a firm voice, said “Hold it!” or “No!” quickly closed the door and brought her back to wait beside the door. This took a few repetitions. I praised her when she did it right.

3.  I followed the door routine for several days,.  Sometimes she or I forgot and I repeated step two. Lily showed her intelligence by learning quickly. I showed my intelligence by being consistent.

As you can see in “after” Lily has gained some self-control and listens to me, which carries over to other areas and establishes me as Alpha.

Training also benefits children and teenagers.

1. Anticipate difficult situations and craft a positive parenting plan. For older children, use a family meeting to talk about the problem and solutions. For younger children, act, don’t yak, before getting angry. Following this one step can eliminate about 90 percent of all conflicts with younger children.

2. When the youngster forgets the training, remind him/her and use a related-respectful-reasonable [Source: Dr. Jane Nelsen]  consequence in the moment. When the child does it right, use encouragement, not praise.

3. For best results, all adults at home consistently enforce the new training. It’s good to have an adult Alpha at home.

This week, pick one behavior issue in your home and take time for training. The younger the child, and the more consistent you are, the sooner they will learn.

Be prepared with a plan and Act don’t Yak.

Dogs training is a lot like child training

January 10, 2011

 

These three dogs have taught me a lot about dog training and child training. They have a lot in common. When disciplining children you must be kind and firm and consistent. The same with dog training. They respond to kindness, firmness and consistency. Raising children is similar to raising dogs because they both want to please. They both respond to encouragement. They both depend on the kindness of their owners and parents. Parenting is all about being kind and firm. Parenting is all about training - and training relies on consistency. You can raise a good dog without hitting it or being violent. Dogs pick up on our cues. The same with children. The way to raise a child without bullying it or making the child into a bully, in essence, anti-bullying, is to be kind and firm and to use natural and logical consequences and to take action. This is a lot like raising a dog. Dog's don't understand many words. They only understand ACTION and a few words. The same with children. Fewer words, more action.

Lily, the puppy on the left, always wants to play. The older two dogs don't always want to, so they ignore her.

 

 

these dogs have taught me a lot about dog training and child training. When disciplining children you must be kind, firm and consistent. The same with dog training. Dogs respond to kindness, firmness and consistency. Children and dogs both want to please and they both respond to encouragement. They both depend on the kindness of owners and parents. Parenting is all about training and consistency- which requires energy. Parenting is all about being kind and firm. Dog training is all about being kind and firm. The way to raise a child without bullying it or making the child into a bully, in essence, anti-bullying, is to be kind and firm, use natural and logical consequences and the triple e - encouragement, expectation and empowerment. Dogs don't understand many words. They understand only ACTION and a few words. The same with children. Fewer words and more aciton.
Like children, these dogs often fight to establish a hierarchy. Let them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m taking care of two extra dogs this week. In addition to the extra dog hair, licking, and exuberance when the front door opens, the dogs show the rules of the kingdom are also useful for children and families.

Here are the rules.

1.       Someone must be boss.  The boss must be bossy enough to prove it. As in sports, there is a home court advantage and size matters.

2.       Turf is important. Don’t take what isn’t yours. My dog, Gonzo, likes nothing better than to go into Lily’s crate, just to annoy her.

3.       Relationships are important. Be aware of who belongs to who. Gonzo is so insecure that she can’t tolerate it when I show affection to Lily or Kasha.

4.       Jealousy erupts over turf and relationships. It’s difficult to manage one’s emotions over limited resources. Gonzo growls, intimidates and playfully bites to communicate dominion over turf and relationships.

5.       The dogs can work it out. Or not. We adopted Gonzo when she was 2 years old, so she has intrinsic insecurity. She grudgingly shares her resources with others, and complains while doing it, no matter what I do.

The dogs prove that it’s best for children and dogs to be allowed to work out their conflicts over turf, relationships and jealousy without interference from authority figures.

The dogs show that some conflicts can never be resolved, even when Mom and Dad  intervene. It is best to let dogs/children/teens establish their own hierarchy, define their turf, manage their emotions over jealousy – even when growling, intimidation and physical altercations are involved. They will find out that life isn’t fair and how to manage conflict without a referee.