Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Little Rant and an Update on NaNoWriMo

Whew, this is a late blog today.

It's because I'm kind of ticked. 

I'm a big fan of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, and for some reason today I felt like going and finding out what his critics were saying.  Okay, you have to understand that I know Cesar Millan isn't a perfect man and sometimes while training he makes mistakes.  However, as I've read his critics' arguments, for the most part they all follow the reward training technique.  They often have similar views on dogs but they are arguing semantics.  Anyway, as I've been reading their criticisms, I've slowly being getting more and more angry.  I want to tell them that I have issues with their methods, but I have a personal rule not to get into fights on youtube or other social media.

So, briefly, I'm going to tell you why I have an issue with the rewards system.  I was taught to train my dogs by a wonderful dog trainer.  He didn't use treats. He told me, "Dogs should do what you want them to do for affection, not for food.  They should do it because you want them to do it, not because they are going to get rewarded for it."

As an elementary school teacher, I heard many of the same arguments that I hear about dog training.  I was told not to use rewards and to establish "rules, boundaries, and limitations"-to use Cesar's rules.  Children and dogs do best when they know what the rules are and they are asked to live them with love.

However, the whole world is telling us to use rewards to make our dogs listen to us.  This is why we have a nation of extremely obese dogs and children.  These children have learned that they are all winners, and many of them don't know how to deal with challenges.  In the real world, not everyone gets the job.  They often don't even call you back. Children are not being taught to deal with limitations or rules.  They are being told that they are wonderful human beings, which is great, but that other people will make life easier for them so they don't have to struggle, which isn't so great.

I love dogs and I love children.  They are very different creatures, but both need boundaries.  They shouldn't do things because they are going to get rewarded for it.  Dogs do well if you shower them with affection after they follow the rules.  They don't need treats.  Children do well if they know that you love them and you are establishing rules because it will keep them safe.  They don't really need treats either.

All this talk about 'established scientific methods' drives me nuts. I watched the lady on Animal Planet's "It Me or the Dog," and I couldn't stand her methods.  She was constantly getting mad at the people for the way they were acting, and I watched her storm out of the house a few times because she didn't want to deal with them.  Maybe her methods do work, but I certainly didn't want to learn from someone so unbalanced.

Enough of the rant.  Now I want to tell you how I'm doing with my goal.  I feel better now.

Basically, I wanted to tell you how my goal is going of writing 2,000 words a day.  Some days it is going really well, other days not so well.

Currently, I am at 25,263 words. I'm really enjoying writing, and it has been really fun to have a goal to work on every day.  My story is finally past the beginning, and I'm really starting to get into the meat of the action.  It's been a fun way to keep in touch with friends that I haven't talked to in a while.  Actually, I'm still not really talking to them, but I can check up on their word count and it feels like we're doing something together.  That's been fun.

I'm going to do it.  I've still got a long way to go and only ten days left, but I'm going to get it accomplished.  Thanks for the love and support and for those of you who have been faithful readers.



  1. You can do it!! You can win NaNo!!!

  2. I completely agree. That was one of my biggest struggles in Primary, I had some councilors who liked to reward everything with candy to the point that the kids expected it and didn't behave when there wasn't any candy. Great point!

    1. Yeah, rewards work (kind of) until you don't have them anymore. We want our children to be self-motivated, not treat motivated.