Friday 18 January 2013

Wanna know a little secret?

We purchased Brian, our money pit cockapoo (cocker-poodle mix), a few years ago on a Craig's list like website. According to its previous owner, our "used" dog is a puppy mill rescue that ended up being badly treated by her husband who didn't like four legged creatures.

Therefore, we found ourselves with a super cute dog with its share of physiological (and physical but this is another story) problems. Next thing you know, we watched every freaking episode of the Dog Whisperer (dog "psychology" trainer) with a note book in hand trying to figure out how to help our "canine son".

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When reading parental books, names like Dr. Sears, Tracy Hogg, Rudolf Steiner, Dr. Spock, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, etc. are common sources of information. To be honest, I don't read those books because I need guidance. I still trust my "mom instinct" and know that I'm the expert regarding Alice's education because each child is unique and doesn't fit in any pre-established mold. I read those books, even those that are against my personal values, because I simply find them interesting from a psychological point of view.

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That being said, after almost two years with a kiddo, if you were going to ask me who is my main parental influence, I would without hesitation tell you... Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer!

Cesar Millan didn't invent anything new.  He just became famous by applying some VERY BASIC psychology principles (hello Maslow's hierarchy of needs) to dog training...principles that can obviously be applied to toddlers:

Fulfill the physical requirements of the body 
(exercise, play, restful sleep, healthy diet, "work" - Alice loves doing simple chores)

Fulfill the psychological requirements of the mind
(structure, direction and positive discipline - rules, routines, rituals) 

Fulfill the spiritual requirements of the soul
(love, affection, safety, attachment)

* * * * *

I didn't write this silly post to create "controversy". I'm obviously aware that toddlers are a bit more complex than puppies, duh!

This post is actually a reminder (for me and, why not, for some readers) that sometimes, by over analyzing our every parental / child move, we create problems that are not even there and forget that simplicity is often key.

note 1: Yes, I'm strange!!!

note 2: I don't know where I found this awesome quote...sorry.


peanut said...

I think I should print this out and stick it to my wall for when I need reminding (or maybe make a cross stitch or something). We're expecting a little addition to our family in just a month or two and I *know* I will over think things at times (especially when I'm feeling a bit of competitive pressure).

Thanks :)

Sarah Vine said...

Claudia, I don't comment much, but that doesn't mean I don't read your posts with interest! Partly because I find you and your little one cute, and your growth process into becoming a mom fun, and real. And I like your taste. But this post made me both laugh out loud and nod my head whole heartedly! You've hit the nail on the head. =0)

Personally, I cannot stand to be near a hungry child. I have everything from hard boiled eggs to cut up vegetables to cubes of cheese in my purse at all times..... Ha! I've come up against moms that are dead against this kind of parenting, saying it's good for their teeth to eat less frequently, or it's better for their self control to eat only 3 meals a day. Sorry. That's not what my mama instinct says, and that's not what their behaviour indicates! Lol.x

Anonymous said...

Oh mon Dieu, j'ai tellement ri: j'ai aussi un chien et parfois je me surprends à utiliser des méthodes similaires d'éducation... il m'arrive de devoir me reprendre pour ne pas lui donner un biscuit (à mon fils) quand il fait un truc super cool.
Plus jeune, je faisais du bbsitting pour une famille avec 4 (!!!!) garçons entre 1 et 8 ans. Les parents étaient vétérinaires, et alors je ne sais pas si il y a cause à effet mais j'ai jamais vu des enfants aussi sages et obéissants (non pas que ce soient les qualités que j'affectionne le plus, on s'entend!!). La mère me disait qu'un bambin, c'est comme un chiot, il faut leur faire comprendre par des actions/réactions immédiates. Bon, elle était pas du tout dans le trip attachment parenting, bien au contraire (mais ça c'est français), mais je trouve ça drôle quand même!
Sinon, rien à voir, mais tu sais que depuis la naissance d'A., je trouve que toutes méthodes d'a.p marchent pas avec lui? Et bien je crois qu'on sait un peu pourquoi aujourd'hui... je t'en parlerais un autre jour de vive voix, si on arrive à se voir! (sara)

Anonymous said...

Claudia - I was a dog parent for many years before having a baby (he is 14 months old) , and although a child is more complex than pups, in my journey of raising my now toddler, I believe that the basics of training a dog are the building blocks of raising a child. Exercise, consistency, discipline and lots of attention (and not toys)

dear olive said...

I LOVE this! Kellie xx