Wednesday, July 09, 2008

To train up a child . . . and a dog . . .

Okay, just kidding. This isn't a post about the awful Pearls.

I was just thinking about how much training we are attempting to do with our dog, and all of the changes we are making with our daughters at the same time. Too bad we can't lump all three of them in to the same class! lol

With our dog, we reward her constantly, lots of "good girl!" and things like that. Lots and lots of treats. See, now with kids, you're not supposed to "good job" them too much. I was wondering, hmmm, if I wanted Iris to do something I wanted, why not just treat her with Skittles every time? Like "pick up the crayons! good girl! here's a skittle!" I mean, come on, it works for the dog!

Soooooo kidding. But the thought has crossed my mind. Matt was commenting a while back on how he had to re-train his brain that saying "good job!" wasn't a bad thing for a dog, like it can be for a child. Empty praise, you know. Dogs thrive on it. Kids, not so much.

The problem lately is that I have time on my hands. I know, big problem, huh? I mean, I am busy with the girls, but not constant, relentless busy-ness, so I theoretically have time to work with the dog to help her learn her basic obedience skills. The problem is that every time I start to work with the dog the girls are right there shouting commands, begging to treat Heidi, throwing dog toys at her. As you can guess, not a terribly conducive training environment. While I would like Heidi to be able to do her obedience work amidst that sort of distraction, it's not how she's going to learn it. I get really excited about all of the stuff we have to work on, but there just isn't enough (quiet) hours in the day to work on it all.

Funny, the same goes for my girls. If I had all of the time in the world I could be more sensitive to Iris's delicate needs. I could work out everything out with her without the tears/screaming/hitting that we have going on right now. If I had more time with Eloise she would probably be doing her ABCs by now, as Iris was when she was turning two. Eloise is lucky to get a diaper on her butt these days. You think I'm kidding, but yesterday I loaded her in the wagon, walked over a mile to the playground and let her play for half an hour before I noticed she was bare assed (with a dress on). Um, yeah.

So, needless to say, there's a little flailing about going on around here, but we're moving slowly toward where we want to be. Everyone just has to wait in line a bit to get their needs met.

In other news, I let the girls strip naked this morning and paint with their feet on a giant piece of paper in the living room. They had such a ball, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to do it earlier! I almost wish I had left their undies on as now the pics aren't appropriate to post on the internet. Maybe I will photoshop them a bit and see if I can blur out the naughty bits?

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure my kids would do tricks for chocolate! LOL.


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