Cesar Millan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer, has developed a new fan base: Frazzled parents!
The article states that because strong parenting role models are lacking on TV these days, parents are turning to The Dog Whisperer's disciplinary techniques to get their kids to sit, stand and roll over on command:
"Parents -- particularly those weary of never-say-no techniques and child-rearing books suggesting that children should call the shots -- say they find inspiration, and even practical advice, in Mr. Millan's approach, which teaches pet owners how to become the alpha dogs by projecting his trademark 'calm-assertive energy.' "
Sure, there's something to be said for calm, authoritative behavior. But does this mean its okay to teach our kids to fetch our slippers and morning paper too?
A child therapist has even taken Millan's concept and, in the words of Woody Allen, turned it into an idea: "Brenna Hicks, a child therapist in Palm Harbor, Fla., who writes an advice blog, The Kid Counselor, adapted Mr. Millan's central idea, that dogs take their cues from their masters, and misbehave only when the masters fail to carry themselves, in body language and tone of voice, like pack leaders. In a post, 'Raising Kids: Wisdom From the Dog Whisperer,' she wrote, 'When we present nervous, angry or scared energy in front of our kids, they pick up on those emotions.' "
Now I can see the parallels here, I really can. LAWD knows I'm a proponent of taking your kids out for a run before expecting them to sit through a meal.
I love and respect dogs, I really do. I also love and respect my kids. I don't know about you all, but I find something a tad disturbing about treating a human child like a four-legged creature that sleeps outside and feels compelled to lick its own feces.
Isn't the challenge of parenting supposed to lie in our ability to reconcile their ideas and opinions with ours? What do you all think?
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|