Log in


Teaching A New Dog

I don't know if it's springtime, or that soccer has started, or that we've taken him completely off milk products, but man, has Captain Jelly Belly ever had an excess of energy lately. He's always been kind of a low-key kid, and when I see other five-year-old boys bouncing off the walls and throwing things and wrestling each other to the ground, I notice that the Captain isn't like that.


For the past three weeks or so he's been jumping off of furniture and randomly smacking his sisters around and getting down from his chair at dinner so he can run a few laps around the table between bites. He goes to soccer and runs and runs and runs for an hour and a half straight, then he comes home and wants to go for a bike ride. It's exhausting just watching him.

On one hand, it's fabulous so see him being so exuberant and full of life. He's happy and bouncy as a Tigger, and that kind of energy tells us that he is also feeling really healthy, which is great because we always have the nagging doubt that something in his diet is making him feel sick.

On the other hand, it would be good if he would stop smacking his sisters around.

I think what we have here is a very typical five-year-old boy, and I'm noticing that they are a bit more of a challenge than a typical four-year-old boy. Because now we have eye-rolling when he gets sent to the naughty step, instead of hysterical tears and vows to never do anything wrong again, ever. Now we have bleep-bloop robot sounds drowning out the sounds of lecturing and rule-making, instead of rapt, wide-eyed attention. Now we have A Series Of Crazy Death-Mask Faces: A Performance Art Piece By Captain Jelly Belly over every meal, instead of focused, polite eating.

In short, it's discipline time, and I think both sirmonkeypants and I are feeling a little lost in the woods. What do we do now that all our usual punishments are being laughed off? How do we raise him to be a person that can live in society without annoying or offending everyone he meets, yet keep his spirit and personality intact? How do we find constructive outlets for his energy and creativity?

I feel like I don't have a lot of answers to these questions right now. It's a new frontier and it's time to learn some new tricks. Hopefully I'm not too much of an old dog.


No idea. This is the part of parenting that terrifies me the most, quite frankly. I wish you the best of luck. The only advice I can give you (which I've stolen from listening to Brainslie) is to be firm and consistent.