Monday, August 12, 2013

Positive Reinforcement

Sonia Dog is a joy to walk with now.  She matches Fio's pace and pauses when Fio pauses.  She automatically sits when she hears a car in the distance.  She sits on command when a car passes within four feet of her on the road.  She reluctantly obeys "leave it" when the neighboring dogs bark at her and when she wants to stop and examine an interesting scent.  And Fiorella encourages all of these good behaviors with treats.

If only Fio had followed the same  policy with her children, but, depending on what parenting expert she had read most recently, she dithered back and forth between positive and negative reinforcement.  And always in her brain was her own parental admonition that achievement and good behavior should be the norm and not require a reward, but inappropriate behavior should be recognized as such.  It was the wisdom of the times.

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