When you get a puppy you teach them to be housebroken, to sit, stay, down and heel— kids need training too.
Hilda, an 86-year-old member in my Parents Anonymous group, had reared several children into successful adulthood and sought help concerning her teenage granddaughter. Hilda had two beautiful golden retrievers and often remarked how bringing up children was very similar to training dogs.
“Dogs, really? My child is nothing like a dog!” One of the members was a bit upset by the comparison.
Through the weeks to come Hilda asked for help from members to understand her granddaughter and also provided members with anecdotal parenting tips. Hilda was wise and taught us many things about parenting and getting children to listen and behave.
Teach Children (and Dogs) This Way
- Show and tell children (and dogs) what you expect, over and over as needed.
- Give children (and dogs) clear directions so expectations are not misunderstood.
- Children (and dogs) forget and need to be gently reminded each time as if it were the first.
- Be extremely patient toward children (and dogs) at all times.
- Always speak sweetly so that no matter what you say, your children (and dogs) will feel loved and cared for.
- Show children (and dogs) respect if you want it returned.
- Give affection often and openly to link emotionally to your children (and dogs).
- Expect children’s (and dogs’) mistakes so that when they appear you will see it as progress.
- Teach children (and dogs) to be nice to other children (and dogs).
- Move and talk calmly around children (and dogs) as if you are always in charge – because you are always in charge.
- Clean up children’s (and dogs’) messes without complaint.
- Provide for physical and emotional needs of children (and dogs) as required for well-being.
- When children (and dogs) are afraid, validate their feelings and reassure them that they are safe.
- Limit children’s (and dogs’) daily treats and provide nourishment at regular intervals.
- Set and keep consistent rules for children (and dogs); variable rules are like having no rules.
- Give children (and dogs) immediate and fair discipline in a way that they can understand.
There are aspects of children and dogs that are similar after all. Can you think of anything you would like to add to Hilda’s wise tips for raising children (and dogs)? I love other’s perspectives and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for parents.