Organizing your family, doesn´t matter whether a husband or children or both, may be time and life-power consuming. I always feel quite exhausted when I try to „fix“ bad habits. I start with explaining and pointing out the good behaviour we can see around, it is followed by praising good results or responses and it usually finish with me shouting or at least nagging.

While teaching one group of my adult students I came across an article adopted from some newspaper. The name of the article was „How to train your husband“. The author wrote about her seek for material for a new book or article about animal training. She visited training centres for dolphins, dogs and some other animals. After she gathered the material she realized that all the things might be used even in a man training. So she tried the tips on her husband and she succeeded. Then she couldn´t stand the weight of the secret and told her husband. How suprised was she after some time when she realized that her husband was training her as well.

But what are the tips which are working? And are they really working? Who knows.

The first tip is to stop shouting. It doesn´t work. No surprise, you already know that, don´t you! The more you are shouting, the more ignorant the family is. Sometimes THEY just provoke you because THEY want to hear you shouting. And to be absolutely honest, a big shout hurts.

To ignore the bad behaviour is another tip. That needs a great amount of patience. Yet it is proved that any response, doesn´t matter whether positive or negative,  fuels the behaviour. So keep a blind eye (and deaf ear) to it. I am not really identified with this bad behaviour ignoration. Can you imagine: Your older child is beating the younger and you are sitting on a sofa pretending you do not see. Well, it doesn´t work like that. Of course you must stop such behaviour. Behaviour to ignore may be for example: making a mess, provokative singing or talking, jumping in bed instead of sleeping or playing with food.

On the other hand praise the good behaviour. Use treats to motivate the family members. Did THEY put just one toy back to the shelf? Good. Did THEY get dressed in the morning? Perfect! Did HE empty the dishwasher? Fantastic!

Don´t take things personally. Is HE looking for something? Get out of his way – you don´t  want to serve as a lightning conductor for his anger, do you. Are THEY sleep deprived because of jumping on their beds instead of taking an afternoon nap? Take it easy, if you can.

Some think training your husband as an animal is a sexist attitude . Some say this is just what men and children want us to do: Let them do the bad things and praise the good ones. And there is the second problem: Are you able to change yourself and your attitude? That isn´t easy.

Andrea Leskotová