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Good Doggie


What’s the best way of disciplining a child? Experts say we should treat young children like puppies. Pat Moore, head of behaviour at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said, “Child psychology and dog behaviour are complex and individual subjects. However, they are also very similar.”

Leading animal charities claim that animals, like children, are more visual learners. Both of them are unable to communicate verbally. “Neither puppies nor toddlers immediately know how to behave in certain situations. They need clear and consistent guidance.” Moore also believes that tone of voice and body language are important. “For example, when disciplining your child, point
your finger and use an angry tone.”

Experts say that puppies and children need positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement means
rewarding good behavior. For instance, if a child is well-behaved on a trip to the shops, buy them a sweet. But everything must be done in moderation. If you give them the best treats all the time, positive reinforcement loses its value.

Both children and animals need discipline during their “socialising” period. This is when they form their impression of the world. Sue Atkins, author of Raising Happy Children for Dummies, said, “Obviously you don’t want to take this analogy too far, but you can make basic comparisons.”

1. to discipline (v): if you discipline a child, you get angry with him/her or punish him/her.

2. a puppy (n): a baby dog.

3. behavior (n): the way you act.

4. an animal charity (n): an organization that protects animals and promotes animal rights.

5. a toddler (n): a child between the ages of 2 and 4

6. guidance (n): help and advice about how to do something.

7. to point your finger (exp): if you “point your finger” at someone, you push your finger towards them.

8. positive reinforcement (n): if you use “positive reinforcement”, you give someone something nice if they are good.

9. to reward (v): to give someone something good if they behave or act well.

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