I am working through a mini parenting programme to assist with some concerns I have around parenting. One of the foundations that I have learnt is that we often try “to do” something when our kids are struggling with their big emotions. They (they being those that have infinitely more wisdom than I on the subject of parenting – thank you Sarah Parkes ) have identified 7 distinct ways that we deal with our kids that actually fuels the fire. I recognise myself in 6 out of the 7 -eeek! However, this does mean there is lots I can do to makes some changes.
I realised that to simplify things further when my daughters are in a state of stress/anxiety/struggle I need to get them to a physically safe space and then “Shut up and Listen” just be present in a calm and gentle way and allow the storm of thoughts pass and their physical energy to calm and then and only then start to communicate with them.
I really should have known this,( but I guess you don’t know what you don’t know!) as it perfectly describes the best way help a dog .
If you are struggling with something your dog is doing, “shut up and listen,” said in the kindest possible way. By that I mean take them to where they feel safe and calm and give them time and then and only then start to work with them to change their behaviour.
A good example of this is when your dog is reacting and lunging towards another dog, now is not the time to shout NO and drag them away, while muttering under your breath, “honestly this dog is driving me nuts.” It’s ok we have all done it, it’s stressful, embarrassing and completely unnecessary from our human perspective. Your dog however, is only trying to protect you and do a really great job in a world they don’t understand.
If you would like to find out more about how to “shut up and listen” and help your dog live their best most relaxed and responsive life, join my free FB community here.