Behavior Modification

Our son texted us earlier this week to tell us that our two year old grandson said  “Mommy, put on your listening ears and give me some goldfish crackers.”  Son wrote “He’s using our weapons against us!”

I thought it was pretty funny, and told our son it only meant that grandson was understanding what they were telling him and doing some pretty creative problem solving as well

What do you think are the most effective forms of discipline or behavior management? How have you tried to change others’ behavior, either at home or in the workplace?  Include pets.

29 thoughts on “Behavior Modification”

  1. Great lead story, Renee. It is so fun to listen to kids because they are perfect little echo chambers, repeating our words. I’ll repeat a story told at least once before.

    My erstwife was spoon feeding our infant daughter, shoveling in Cheerios as fast as she could. Our daughter was just beginning to talk, with a vocabulary of maybe ten words.”I can’t believe this,” said my erstwife, “I think our daughter just said ‘Oh shit!'”

    She stuck out another spoonful. Our daughter slapped it clumsily, sending Cheerios spilling to the floor (and into the waiting mouth of a springer spaniel).

    “Oh shit,” said my frustrated wife.

    “Oh shit,” said my infant daughter with a big grin.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. A little bit of nerdy / lighting guy humor: (THIS IS A JOKE)

        DMX512 SHOCK COLLARtechnical data sheet (for amusement only)

        The DMX512 Shock Collar was designed to help lighting board operators wake up sleeping followspot crew. It has also been successfully used to alert flyrail personnel and stagehands that have fallen asleep backstage. A shocking reminder can now be sent directly from the lighting console. For habitual sleepers, alert cues can be conveniently programmed as part of the show.

        Features:
        One size fits all collar.Plastic housing prevents corrosion from nervous perspiration.DMX channel selection via front mounted switches.Six levels of stimulation (mildly uncomfortable to very effective).
        Options include:
        Hand held transmitter (for effective shocking when you’re not at the console).Training videos (highly informative and sadistically entertaining).
        Custom Collars (in a variety of colors with your company’s name and logo).
        Designer Collars (bow tie models for formal shows, spiked collars for heavy metal).
        Locking collars (to prevent removal by wearer)
        .Dummy collar for crew people that have had enough experience with the real thing. (Just having one on keeps them wide awake)
        Cattle prod (for anyone who won’t put their collar on)

        Finding your crewperson’s sensitivity level.Before using the DMX Shock Collar to train your crew, you should find their sensitivity level. Send a momentary stimulation from your console. See if the person raises their eyebrows, or quickly moves their head. Usually there will be a quizzical expression on their face letting you know they have felt the stimulation. Work your way up through the different sensitivity levels from lowest to highest until you get the desired reaction from the wearer. If he/she yelps or screams when you send the stimulation, you have selected a level that is too high. This could disrupt an actual performance but would probably be okay during rehearsals.
        It has been found that positive reinforcement complements the effectiveness of the DMX Shock Collar. Keep a case of Twinkies around to give to crew members that did not require any corrections during a show.

        No animals were used or harmed during the development of the DMX Shock Collar. Our test subject, Greg, seems to be doing quite well in therapy.

        UL, CSA, CE, USA, ACLU, and SPCA approvals not expected.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. i did dog training with my dogs at canine college with a noted horse trainer as the guiding element. she was great and taught that in order to get your dog to do what you want you have to make them not want the consequences of not doing. what you want
    that’s what the choke chains were for. choke chains were only to be used when training and they were to be used every time with enough force to make the dog realize the point of the excersise. it took a while with the basset, the wolf dog got it in a heartbeat
    my current dogs need a starting reminder each time but it come back immediately and my grandson is just starting to respond properly

    my wife is untrainable

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They were at 66th and Penn. They shut down right in the middle of the class that I was taking with Guinevere in March. Then we got an email a couple of months later they couldn’t afford to pay their rent and were closing down. I really liked Canine College, I think they helped me turn a corner with Guinevere. Another thing in their favor, they did volunteer to refund the remaining price of the class that none of us were able to finish. A lot of companies would’ve just walked away I think. Anyway I told them to keep the money and use it for whatever other closing down costs they had.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. my brother is 2 years younger and kind of a curious study. he almost died at birth and was given intervenes feeding and last rights upon his birth. he sat quietly in his crib and never made a fuss. he concerned my mom because he didn’t speak at age 3 and when she told her mother if her concern her mom said “ well he doesn’t have to talk, he just points and grunts and tim tells you what he wants” so my mom asked me to stop and asked paul to ask for what he wanted. his first words were “ can i have the cereal from above the refrigerator “
    he talks a little more now but not much

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    When my son was 4 years old, we had experienced a really bad behavior day together. I tried spanking, which I had not done at that point but I did not know how to handle his defiance, so I tried spanking. He looked at me calmly, and said, “Mom, I didn’t like that. It hurt. And I don’t know why that would help me behave better.” Point taken. That was the first and last spanking from me.

    What worked with him was having to sit on a chair, quietly, for 1 minute for each year of his age. Now that was difficult for him, and being quiet for that long was nearly impossible. He like to sit and opine on whatever the conflict was. “You are a dummy,” or “I am such a good kid, why are you doing this?” Or “Shut up FartFace.” Really, he said that to my mother when he was 3 years old.

    My mother loved to spank, and I was not sure it changed my behavior in the way she wanted. Really, it just created a power struggle. She always spanked with the rulers they gave away at the county fair. She broke many, many of those over my brother and I, which was mighty entertaining to me, and tended to ensure a merry chase throughout the house. I am sure the county fair vendors that gave them away wondered what she did with all those rulers.

    After tim’s recent crack about having psychologists on the trail, I will skip the lecture on behavioral strategies. But they really do work!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I plan to go to a professional dog trainer when we finally get another terrier. I may know how to teach parents to manage their children’s behavior, but training a terrier is beyond me. They are too smart for their own good. The breeder we bought our first Welshie from told us that in her experience, psychologists were poor terrier trainers. She wouldn’t elaborate.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Just the other day daughter did something she shouldn’t have. We talk a lot about ‘consequences’ of our actions. So she turned off her movie (as a consequence) and asked us if we were going to ground her. Later on Kelly and I laughed, how would we know if we did! We’ve never used grounding; neither of us grew up with that as a consequence and we’ve never used it, so she’s just repeating what she’s heard on movies. But it’s pretty funny. She hasn’t been out of the house in months and she loves it. Sure! You’re grounded for 2 weeks!
    Guess I should have done it; it would still be punishment in her eyes.

    Many years ago I took away her CD player as punishment. She told me that was fine; she had music in her head.

    It’s interesting isn’t it, trying to find ‘punishment’ for our kids. What works on one, doesn’t work on the other. And it changes with time. It’s very interesting.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I am an expert on child rearing. The only child I raised has bloomed as a wonderful human being. So long as I have no more kids, I have a perfect record.

    I’ve said before–often making tim gag–that training dogs helped me raise a kid. A primary principle for training dogs is that a command is a command. You should give it once, giving it calmly, and if the dog disobeys you back it up with an appropriate response (which is never punishment). Inexperienced trainers repeat commands over and over, with increasing volume when the pooch misbehaves. The dog learns that the first utterance of any command is just a warning that can be ignored.

    As applied to children, this does not mean you get tough whenever a kid doesn’t follow orders. What it meant to me was that I should radically restrict the number of times I told my daughter what to do. The more often you bark at a kid, the less attention they give to what you say. What worked infinitely better was “catching them in the act of doing something right” and rewarding that. So many people seem to think parenting is all about telling little humans what they should or should not do. I disagree.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. one minute manager…
      i don’t remember gagging at your comments before but that often doesn’t prevent me from making some snarky comment
      i raised 5 kids and got two good ones out of the bunch so you learn to just play the odds

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I have spoken before about the “teachable moment”. What I saw other relatives doing was going on and on about what the child (or adult, for that matter) had done wrong and how it should be done. That’s shaming, and in my experience doesn’t change the behavior.Iif you can wait till the next time that situation arises, and THEN say the way to do it right (perhaps reminding them of the undesirable outcome that happened last time), you get better results. This takes infinitely more patience… and I’ll try to think of an example, be back later.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have learned over the years that words matter and kids are always listening. I can be careless with my choice of words (either spoken directly to the kids or if they are passive listeners). I’ve often overheard one of my kids lecturing a sibling with my words and tone. And when my oldest was around 3 and living with her dad while I was finishing up graduate school, I got a call asking if I was in the habit of stopping suddenly while driving. apparently he had to stop short for a squirrel, and my young daughter said “oh sh&t! what the f*ck?!” repeatedly. so I do try to be mindful of my words and tone. I am also learning that words of encouragement and positive reinforcement work a lot better than punitive measures (for my dogs and kids!).

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I can, with difficulty, change my behavior. Cell phone usage is a major problem with the company I work for and I admit to being part of the problem. Too much time at inappropriate times. So I have clamped down on myself and people working under my supervision. No phone between 6 am and 9 am break time. After break, no phone until noon lunch. After lunch, no phone until 2. That gives everyone a half hour of company time before clocking out to catch up on all the cat videos they missed!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I had a devil of a time trying to levy appropriate consequences for Child. She was always a very flexible child in terms of choices and schedule and foods and that spilled over into consequences. If she had a timeout she was fine with that. If she lost a toy for a time, she would just go get another toy. About the only thing that really worked was so nuclear that I only used it about three times when she was growing up and that was to take away “Blankie”. Now that was a consequence!!

    Liked by 3 people

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