There was a lot of talk this summer about getting a dog. This is similar to the conversations about one year ago about having an other child. They all end with, "I think it works better when Mummy is an Alpha Dog". But I am not an alpha dog so we are staying with three children, but the dog is still in discussion.
Part of my husband's fascination with getting a puppy is his admiration for Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. He can sit and watch that show for hours. He is completely mesmerized by Cesar's ability to turn around dogs in such a short time. But he also loves the fact that Cesar is a complete Zen Master of his craft.
Cesar Millan is all about showing who is boss, and showing the dogs how to be part of a pack. As a parent I would also like my kids to sit when told and to stop fighting with a mere "SHHHT" like Cesar's dogs do.
So naturally, some people are starting to wonder if the Dog Whisperer techniques could also be Kid Whisperer strategies.The New York Timeshad a an article on parents and child therapists taking a page out of Millan's book and applying it to child rearing. And the conversation continued into the motherlode blog. (In fact The Times loves Cesar this is an articlefrom the Business section which supplies one of my favourite quotes: humans are the only animals who will follow unstable pack leaders.")
Even one of my completely crunchy friends has a crush on Cesar, she swears she is starting to use some of his techniques at home on her kids, and they work. There is something nice admitting that you are the Pack Leader, she says.
It would be nice to have my kids respond as well as Cesar's dogs. But I think it might take more than wise words from the Dog Whisperer and some good editing. Because in fact, I think that Cesar is slightly more punitive than I think is beneficial. And a dog trainer I spoke to said that his name come up all the time at conferences, but the talk about him isn't always positive.
Nonetheless, I would love to be more like Cesar, he has that "calm, assertive energy", and inner strength; he seems completely in control of every situation, no matter how risky, and he makes it look so damm easy!
Do you think Cesar could be a People Whisperer? Will you take parenting tips from a dog trainer?