Thursday, May 6, 2010

Accentuate the Positive

Back Story -
Several months ago, Wynn and I got home from school and found that our dog (Shadow) had chewed her stuffed horse and left its mangled body all over the living room. I scolded him and told him he was a bad dog. It made quite an impression on Wynn, and she has mentioned the time I called Shadow "Bad Dog" several times since.

Our Conversation in the Car Tonight -
Wynn: Do you think Shadow was a good dog today?

Me: Yes, he was probably a good boy.

Wynn: Well, you know, when he is a good dog, you should say good things to him.

Me: Really? What kind of things should I say?

Wynn: Like, "Oh, Shadow, you are such a good dog, and we love you."

Me: Yes, that would be nice to tell him. But what should I say if he was a bad dog?

Wynn: Well, when he is bad you should still say good words to him. Because sometimes he does bad stuff like chew on toys or Baba's blanket, but you should still say good words. Not bad words like, "Shadow, you bad dog!"

Me: But shouldn't I tell him that what he did was bad?

Wynn: Yes, but use nice words like, "Shadow, you good boy, why you do bad things?" That way you won't hurt his feelings, because when you say bad words like, "You bad dog!" you might hurt his feelings, and then he will say, "You hurt my feelings."

Me: You're right. I wouldn't want to made Shadow sad, but he needs to know that I don't like when he's bad. Wynn, what would you say to Shadow if he chewed up your gecko?

Wynn: I would say, "I love you, Shadow, but don't chew my gecko."

Me: What if he got your alligator and ripped its head off and threw the stuffing all over so you could never play with it ever again?"

Wynn: Oh, no! No! That would make me SO sad.

Me: Me too. So, what would you say to him?

Wynn: I would use nice words. I love Shadow and don't want to hurt his feelings.

At this point I'm thinking that Wynn is the kindest, most forgiving soul on the planet.

Me: Oh, Wynn, you are such a sweet girl for not wanting to hurt Shadow's feelings.

Wynn: Yea, 'cause if I use bad words and hurt his feelings, he might bite me.

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