Adventures in Unschooling

The kid whisperer?

Posted on: February 3, 2009

I am not sure if I will be able to get this all down (from my head to the computer) and have it sound like I want it to but here goes…

My sister was telling me about this dog whisperer show where the host demonstrates how you need to exert ownership of your pet and make it clear that you are indeed the head of the household in order for your dog to respect you and behave appropriately. He also states that you should never hit or punish your pet. That a problem with behaviour is a result of a problem in your leadership.

OK. I know that kids and pets are different but maybe there is something to be gleaned here. Iwant my kids to want to behave well. And I know they need much more one on one attention than our pets.

I know that it is  wrong to spank your kids and control them through manipulative behaviour but I also think it must be scary for a child, who depends on her/his parents, to think that he has so much control over his environment.

The dogs who are lacking leadership from the head “dog” have disturbing behaviour like biting, chewing, peeing etc.

Maybe this explains why kids with too little structure tend to make bad choices at all levels of their lives and why kids with too much structure tend to lie and sneak around behind their parents’ backs. Maybe they need someone to exert caring “ownership” of them.

I think we need to be empathetic of our children and the underlying reasons why they are driven to misbehave. For example, addressing their insecurities.

But we have to make sure that we don’t become so buddy-buddy with them that we lose the ability to correct their behaviour when it is needed.

I am writing as I am thinking a lot of this through for my own home. I know that Trey’s toilet training is going better since I am validating and encouraging him. All the while being clear about my expectation that he stay dry. And we haven’t had a tantrum in three days and the boys are being more obedient in general and kinder to each other.

Thank you Dr. Sears!

dsc04026I know that I have always loved his philosophy of baby-rearing and I am finding myself happy with his parenting advice as well. He really helps me to understand how attachment parenting looks when you are dealing with toddlers.

I have also looked at a few other books from the library and I think I like this one the best. I think it works better for our family that some others. I am finally starting to understand why so many people dislike James Dobson’s advice but I don’t think that he is as bad as they claim. So much reading and thinking…oy!

This parenting thing is a lot harder than it looks.

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1 Response to "The kid whisperer?"

I love Martha and Dr. Sears. I find that there approach is gentle in nature. I love the baby book. The words in that book have calmed me down and re-assured me that I was doing the right thing a number of times. Attachment parenting can be difficult at times and tiring. I love the discipline book as well.

I have a lot of parenting books on the shelf now waiting to be read. Playful Parenting, Unconditional Parenting, Calm and Compassionate Children, I Love You Rituals, and You are your Child’s First Teacher.

I read Hold On To Your Kids. Eye opening book!!

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