How classic pet training can help you get what you want from your kids.
As every parent knows, it's tough teaching your children to do things. Whether it's putting their laundry in the laundry basket, calling when they are running late or saying please and thank you, it can feel like a battle to convince them to change. Advice: My Boyfriend Isn't Supporting My Health Goals
The problem many parents run into is that their children do not see the reason for the things that are being asked of them. It may make perfect sense to mom to put your dishes in the sink after dinner but to a kid it just seems like work. If they don't connect the purpose (making cleaning up easier) to something that benefits them, they may not feel there is any reason to put forth the effort.
Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that training something that does not speak your language is all about voice tone and behavioral rewards. A dog does not see the reason why it should sit, stay or roll over so we have to give the dog a reason to want to do what makes sense to us. Kids — especially teens — speak a different language than you. Using voice tone and rewards to communicate with them is a way to let them know that they are on the right track without having to speak the same language. If the dog gets a treat when he does the trick you want, what does your son get when he does his trick? Communication Skills: Back To Basics
Parents often feel that saying that something needs to get done ought to be enough motivation for their children. Unfortunately, most children’s minds do not work that way. Our strongest motivators are pain and pleasure. Pain motivates quickly and temporarily. Pleasure motivates at a slower pace, yet has longer standing results. This is why Caesar Milan will tell you to give your dog a piece of cheese for doing something right instead of a smack on the backside for doing something wrong. This is also why I would tell you to give your child a reward instead of yelling. Why Respecting Boundaries Is Crucial, Part 1
Dogs work the same way as people. Scare them and they may do what you want in the short term, but give them a reward and they will link that action to pleasure and repeat it for the rest of their lives. If you want to teach a dog to sit, you will have to go through certain steps to get there. First, get their attention, remain calm and when the dog sits, give her a reward. This training takes patience, repetition and reward.
At first, you give the reward every time they sit on command. Then, you slowly reduce how often they get the reward and it becomes conditioned in them to sit on command even without the reward. Rewards can be praise, treats, petting, throwing their favorite ball or whatever they respond to. What Can Help You Cope With Stress
Using this general method, you can help your children to learn to do the things that are expected of them. If you would like your daughter to put her clothes in the laundry basket, (instead of on her bedroom floor) you might start by calmly helping her do the task and praising her each time she puts a shirt in the basket. Then, be sure to give her thanks and praise once the hamper is full.
Next, you might pay very close attention and notice each time she appears to have put something in her hamper from that point forward. Focus on what she is doing right rather than the clothes that still landed on the ground. You might even give her a preset reward if she keeps her floor clear for a certain amount of time. The key is to praise her and pay attention to what she views as a reward.
In time, it will become habit for her to put her clothes in the basket. You can then periodically follow up with praise and appreciation for her continued use of the skill. By doing this, you will have gotten her attention by engaging in the project with her. You will have been calm and linked this activity to you being happy with her. Most importantly, you will have found a way to give her a reward for her ongoing behavior so that it now makes sense to her. Your reason may have been to have a clean floor whereas her reason will be to keep the calm, happy feelings going. How To Text With Care
Remember that if you become frustrated with how long it is taking to get this new behavior instilled in your child and switch over to negative reinforcers, such as scolding her for not doing the skill you are working on, you may push her learning backwards. The idea is to keep it clear and concise and to help get a behavior that is important to you to become important to the child because it now means something to her.
Kids all want to be praised and validated. Believe it or not, they do actually want to please you. You just don't make sense to them sometimes and, let's face it, they don’t make sense to you all the time either. Working on behaviors with rewards helps to bridge that language gap. Once you get practice at this, you can start to expand this idea to other areas of your life too. Wouldn't it be nice to get your husband to put his socks in the hamper as well? 8 Ways To Console A Grieving Friend (That Will Actually Help)
Getting someone's attention, remaining calm, being clear as to what you want and responding positively when you get it, is all basic communication. Start working on training your children and you may find that your communication in all areas of your life will drastically improve.
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