Training My Son Like Cesar Milan Trains Dogs
A few weeks ago as I was getting ready for work, I heard my 13 month-old son Jack screaming as my wife was understandably frustrated; she was trying to put a new diaper on him as he violently resisted on his bedroom floor.
If there were such a thing as “negative energy” glasses and I was wearing them that day, I would have been able to see little neon lighting bolts shooting out from his waving arms and legs and red spring-shaped lasers beaming from his mouth and eyes as he lay down “pitching a fit.”
I walked into the room and kneeled down, placing my right hand firmly on his chest and told him in a calm yet assertive voice: “Jack, you’re going to calm down. We’re going to put a diaper on you now. Relax, it’s okay.”
He instantly got quiet. No more crying; no more squirming. No more lightning bolts or lasers. All clear.
It wasn’t a coincidence he responded that way. Cesar Milan teaches pet owners to “be the pack leader,” using “calm-assertive energy” instead of simply mirroring the chaos. I realize Cesar Milan is known as “The Dog Whisperer” but I tell ya, his tricks seem to work for a 13 month-old toddler as well.
Discipline is so much more than simply punishing a child for their wrongdoing. I say more than anything, disciplining a child is the behavior training that prevents a kid from thinking they are the one in charge.
Am I letting my power of the role as “the calm-assertive pack leader” go to my head? Probably, but this whole Cesar Milan thing really works.
Honestly, it feels good as the dad to have another solid role in parenting. One of the most challenging things as a dad has been the fact that I have often not known instinctively want to do.
For over a year, I have had to ask my wife how to do… on nearly everything when it comes to raising a baby. I can learn, sure. But I wasn’t really, by default, in charge of anything. I like being in charge every once in a while.
It’s becoming pretty clear to me that I am getting to become much more active in my role as the calm-assertive pack leader. Seriously, now my wife asks me to rock Jack to sleep for his naps because I am effective thanks to the strong yet positive vibes he picks up from me.
I knew all this testosterone had to be good for somethin’.
P.S. Thanks Cesar!
Image: An obedient dog balances, via Shutterstock.