My kid is not a dog or a rat


Active Member
She's made a point also, t hat you can't use behaviour modification on behaviours that are beyond the child's ability to modify.

For example, I am going to use behaviour modification to teach my dog to fly. We'll start small - he has to fly from the garden seat. Then from the garden table. Wow! We're making progress! He was so quick getting down from the garden seat, and then the table, that I didn't even see his wings move!

But somehow it just didn't translate too well from the top of a second storey building. I can't understand why something he could do from the table couldn't be extended to doing the same thing from the roof of the house...

We have to understand and keep it in mind constantly, that all too often the problems that drive us crazy with our kids are not the usual ones. And they're not necessarily going to be fixable when we think they should be. From our kids' point of view, asking them to make certain changes in themselves before they are capable, is as sensible as trying to teach the dog to fly.



Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>It's a good article to help us put words to our thoughts. I agree with a lot of it. I also think that we have to remind ourselves that we must still guide and channel our children in the right direction. Expectations of a child that are impossible to achieve just set them up for failure and frustration. (our attempt at potty training from the age of 4yrs old on through 8 or 9) He was not able to master that developmental step no matter how hard we tried, he tried or the professionals tried. I gave up the fight, which it eventually became and let it go. Eventually, I helped guide him to proper behavior but he had to be ready to do it.
The problem with some articles like this is that I feel like it's all or nothing. There are circumstances where behavior modification is a good and effective way to go but it does require a parent to understand that not all kids are prepared to master that particular skill.
Understanding their limitations, frustrations and "stuck" thoughts does seem to help my difficult child to deal with it. He has a really crappy, dirty job. He hates it. Just by agreeing with him that it is a crappy job has allowed him to relax and understand that this is just temporary. If he can prove to be reliable and hard working then he may be able to find something a little more to his liking. I let him vent and allow him to dislike it, as long as he shows up and does his job.
For someone like me who tends toward authoritarian, it requires effort on my part to think things through until I understand the desired behavior and the steps leading up to it. No one wants submissiveness but I also don't want an out of control child/adult that must be subdued when frustrated.
Thanks Allen</span>


Well-Known Member
Personally, I've found that dog training techniques work very well in office mgmt. Sit. Stay. Come. Besides, I love dogs. :smile: It's sort of like The One Minute Manager series so popular about 10 yrs ago.
I'm waaaaaaaaaaay too verbal and tend to confuse people.


The article addresses some very important issues. If one more person preaches behavior modification to me with difficult child, I'm going to scream. It may work very well for some, but not for all, and certainly not for my difficult child. As with any type of parenting ideas, they have to be molded to the individual child. With my difficult child, I tend to focus less on the behavior and more on the issues fueling the behavior. The behavior, in her case, is a symptom not the problem. It seems a lot of people forget that. Sometimes it can be easy for me to forget that when all you witness is the behavior and I often have to remind myself.

My children are as different as night and day. easy child has always been very empathic. He was born that way. Whereas, difficult child has always been extremely egocentric. Therefore, I've had to make a conscious effort to teach difficult child empathy and to help her to see how her actions affect others. easy child has always been very sure of himself. I've never worried about peer pressure with that kid. From the time he was little, if his friends were doing something he didn't like, he would just come home. When his friends were done doing that thing, he would go back out to play. No fuss. difficult child is the exact opposite. easy child hates anything to do with learning and difficult child loves it. difficult child needs very little prompting in that department. I live it everyday and really don't think too much of the differences in how I parent my kids because I was never told from the beginning that "this is how it's done". I guess I learned on the job that parenting requires that the needs of the individual child be addressed.