Michelle Fitoussi , in Elle magazine French version, had an interesting article on page 7 of the July 10 2006 issue ( I know it's funny we are in December and I'm ready the July issue, but I have so much on my plate ... ) So anyway Michelle was speaking about some American writer who wanted to train her man to behave the way she wants to and wrote about it to describe the procedure .
Why waste more time I thought this is cool let me find this article and read it first hand.
What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage
By AMY SUTHERLAND
Published: June 25, 2006
"As I wash dishes at the kitchen sink, my husband paces behind me, irritated. "Have you seen my keys?" he snarls, then huffs out a loud sigh and stomps from the room with our dog, Dixie, at his heels, anxious over her favorite human's upset.
In the past I would have been right behind Dixie. I would have turned off the faucet and joined the hunt while trying to soothe my husband with bromides like, "Don't worry, they'll turn up." But that only made him angrier, and a simple case of missing keys soon would become a full-blown angst-ridden drama starring the two of us and our poor nervous dog. Now, I focus on the wet dish in my hands. I don't turn around. I don't say a word. I'm using a technique I learned from a dolphin trainer.
[...] I wanted — needed — to nudge him a little closer to perfect, to make him into a mate who might annoy me a little less, who wouldn't keep me waiting at restaurants, a mate who would be easier to love. [...] Eventually it hit me that the same techniques might work on that stubborn but lovable species, the American husband.
The central lesson I learned from exotic animal trainers is that I should reward behavior I like and ignore behavior I don't. [...] You can't expect a baboon to learn to flip on command in one session, just as you can't expect an American husband to begin regularly picking up his dirty socks by praising him once for picking up a single sock.(LOOOOOL) [...]
I followed the students to SeaWorld San Diego, where a dolphin trainer introduced me to least reinforcing syndrome (L. R. S.). When a dolphin does something wrong, the trainer doesn't respond in any way. He stands still for a few beats, careful not to look at the dolphin, and then returns to work. The idea is that any response, positive or negative, fuels a behavior. If a behavior provokes no response, it typically dies away. In the margins of my notes I wrote, "Try on Scott! " [...]After two years of exotic animal training, my marriage is far smoother, my husband much easier to love. I used to take his faults personally; his dirty clothes on the floor were an affront, a symbol of how he didn't care enough about me. [...] When the training techniques worked so beautifully, I couldn't resist telling my husband what I was up to. He wasn't offended, just amused. As I explained the techniques and terminology, he soaked it up. Far more than I realized. [...] One morning, as I launched into yet another tirade about how uncomfortable I was, Scott just looked at me blankly. He didn't say a word or acknowledge my rant in any way, not even with a nod.
I quickly ran out of steam and started to walk away. Then I realized what was happening, and I turned and asked, "Are you giving me an L. R. S.?" Silence. "You are, aren't you?"
He finally smiled, but his L. R. S. has already done the trick. He'd begun to train me, the American wife."
The piece above reminded me so much of how I handle Pearl; praise here , punish here , subtly giving the message , just the usual life of a mother or Supernanny ( do you recall the TV series ? ).
Funnily enough many people wrote to Amy for advice :
Dear Amy: How do you get results from stubborn hubbies without being accused of
being the “nagger.” — Gail, Tampa, Fla.
Dear Gail: Simply adopt the approach
progressive animal trainers use: reward behavior you like and ignore, as much as
you can, behavior you don’t. When I did this with my husband, I found that I
almost stopped nagging. Almost, I say, because I am human, after all.
It also seems past literatture is ric\ch in books with the same message, such as in 1994 "how to make your man behave in 21 days using the professional dog trainers" - hilarious - what is it with men and dogs ? check the excerpts:
Doggie Dos and Don'ts: "Gentle strokes and playful petting techniques are
positive motivational techniques for rewarding good behavior."
Flight and Chase Behavior: "If your dog is running away from you, the worst
thing to do is chase after him . . . remain calm, act like you're having loads
of fun without him, and soon he'll be trotting eagerly back ."
Some people compared men to buses - ok less offensive than dog I daresay.
"Bloody men are like bloody buses - you wait for about a year and as soon
as one approaches your stop two or three others appear. Wendy
Cope" check her whole poem here .
That's actually quite appropriate to my earlier Baby post .
Do you think we should treat our men like kids ( or dogs ;-) ) and use all those expert advices on them ?
Why can't men be just like women and you don't need to resort to any stratagems ?
Do you think Amy's method would work on Libyans ? Or Arabs for that matter ?