Ever since Muffy spent a night at the vet’s we have been waging a war on fleas. I’m so allergic to fragrances and powders that it just about eliminates every possibility. So I am now the proud owner of a flea comb. Everyday I would get all the things ready and swoop down on Muffy. She didn’t appreciate it. That is until I started “tactics”. Actually, what I did was make a fool of myself! Every flea became a grand success — full of “good girls”, pats and a treat. Now it’s her favorite time of the day, she purrs the whole time and looks disappointed when I stop.
I wonder if the same thing would work with people (no, not the flea comb!). We all know how much praise helps us to do what needs doing and we would probably say that we use a lot of it with those we live with. I read recently about one Sunday School teacher who was sure that she was great at praising her kids until she tried wearing a tape recorder for several Sundays. She was amazed at how little actually came out of her mouth!
So often when Renee was younger I would just heave a sigh of relief when she did what she was supposed to, instead of making it the big deal I should have. She got attention when things weren’t right.
My kitty is very open about how she feels about that kind of situation and I’ve learned a lesson!