What Kind of Kid Do You Hope to Raise?


raising kidsAre you raising a cat-kid or a dog-kid?

Not sure if you’ve caught the Netflix documentary Inside the Mind of a Cat. Overall, the synopsis when comparing cats to dogs — dogs think humans are gods, cats think they are gods.

And that caused me to think, what kind of kids do we hope to raise?

Dogs vs. Cats

Dogs

Dogs want to please their god, the human. However, if you have a dog younger than two, they may still be a jerk and not follow this rule of dog life just yet.

Just a disappointing,“Who made this mess?” said to a dog, while looking at the garbage spread out all over the floor, and they will cower and retreat.

Dogs live to hear, “That’s a good boy.” The more obedient the dog, the more people love the dog.

And dog trainers encourage us to be the pack leader and give the dog directions. The dog is willing to do more work if there are a few“good boys” and treats for following the human’s direction.

Overall, pleasing human = happy dog.

And many people use shocking and pronged collars on their dogs. Why? To control the dog. A dog under control is the only kind of dog anyone really wants to be around.  

This is my dog, Luna. In this photo, she is protecting me from bees and bugs. She really loves me. She is in a fence to be sure she doesn’t run up to my neighbor in a scary way.

Overall, she is happy serving me. And I am content having an obedient, well-controlled, happy dog.

Cats

On the other hand, ever try to control a cat? I once thought I could. 

I tried locking a cat in the basement at night. Hello, shredded carpet! 

You’ll be a super-mean-human and remove their claws? I hope you like urine on your carpet in place of scratched-up carpet!

Cats think of themselves as gods. They love relationships with humans — particularly their human. But their sole purpose of each and every day isn’t to please the humans, it’s to please themselves.

Cat-people have learned to love and appreciate the uniqueness of their cat’s personalities. And the relationship and respect that forms results in unshredded carpet and urine-less floors.

However, a happy cat certainly isn’t a controlled cat. You can train cats with patience, relationship, and room to be themselves. But if you’re someone who likes obedience in their pets, a cat is not the pet for you. 

This is my cat, Louise. She really loves me. So she stalks me to steal my body heat and connect with me. I didn’t tell her to do this, this is just what she wants to do.

Also, she’s not out to please me, she’s out to please herself. And I get happiness, cuddles, and a relationship out of that deal also.

I sure love dogs. And I sure love cats. But I love kids even more. And I want them to be themselves, not what I tell them to be. 

So, what kind of kid do you hope leaves your house some day? A controlled, obedient, people-pleasing kid? Or, a self-confident, unique kid who pleases others only after taking care of their own needs? 

I’ll take the latter. 

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Erika has worked in the educational setting as a physical therapist for 17 years, after attending UND and NDSU. After recognizing difficult behaviors in her third child, she became an advanced trainer of the Nurtured Heart Approach®. Professionally, Erika is also a mentor, course-captain, and clinical instructor, and has served students in the Autism magnet program for 10 years. She recently served on the Pediatric Advisory Board for Curriculum Development at UND, and on a task force with the Department of Instruction to create the first school-based PT/OT guidelines in the state. She also is a mentor with BioGirls, leads a group of teenage boys at confirmation, leads a Girl Scout troop, and has coached baseball. For the past two Mother’s Days, Erika has hosted a Neighborhood Chalk Party, an event designed to further build relationships in neighborhoods on the principle of “it takes a village to raise a child.” She was born and raised in Hankinson, ND, and has lived in the Fargo area for over 25 years with her husband (who you may know as the radio DJ on Bob 95 FM: "Chris, John and Cori in the Morning"). Together they have four children: girl-boy-boy-girl, ages 10-16. Erika is passionate about empowering kids, preventative health, hiking, and national parks.

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