Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kids and Puppies and Positive Reinforcement

When our puppy, Eddie, first came home to us he was a scared little thing, missing his doggy family, and hid under the kitchen table and wouldn't come out!

Soon he settled in and accepted us as his new pack, and was an adorable but mischievous bundle of fluff. His teeth were sharp as needles and he played rough so I had lots of nips on my hands! He stole socks and ran away with them, and chewed everything he could lay his mouth on.

But there were also plenty of times when he was being delightful. When he would chew on the toys we gave him instead of the furniture and our clothes, or come running when he was called, or even just lie quietly and calmly watching us as we went about our chores.

Why is it so tempting to punish bad behavior but let the good behavior go by unmentioned? I made myself a rule that for every time I told my pup off, I would find at least 10 times when he was being good and I could proactively praise and reward him.

With a puppy it's easy to know what to do - scratch him behind the ears, talk to him in a loving voice, give him biscuits.

Why not take the time to find out what rewards would motivate your child, and resolve to find more things to praise than to punish?

Check out Monicka's great article on how to use Positive Reinforcement

Happy goal setting with your kids!


No comments: