Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The F***ing Fours

I was talking to Chase's teacher briefly the other day about some of the parenting struggles I have been having and she laughed and said "my pediatrician told me once that they shouldn't call it the terrible 2s and 3s they should call it the F***ing 4s". I feel that accurately describes how I feel about this age!

Somehow we made it up to this point without a "bad age" but we are making up for it all now. The bad words, the hitting, the defiance, the getting in trouble at school - it makes me want to rip my hair out. I will admit we are partially to blame because as parents we haven't been on top of everything lately but unfortunately, I think some of this is just a natural thing that all kiddos go through at some point...

So at the same time I have been trying to "take back the house" from my child (as my mom calls it) I have also been working hard at training Stark. Our trainer's philosophy is to reward good behavior (with a treat) and punish bad behavior to start...then once the dog knows what it is suppose to do you acknowledge good behavior (with a "good dog") and still punish bad behavior. Last week at our session the trainer basically told me I need to be more firm with the dog and more immediate with my correction. I took this advice to heart and in the last week Stark has made remarkable improvements! He will now go to his dog bed and lay there while we eat our dinner and he does the entire sit, heel, come, down, etc routine with pretty much no correction from him training collar - just because I asked him to.

The puppy training experience certainly has parallels to my frustration with parenting right now...and it has left me wondering what the child equivalent to a dog's pinch collar is.

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