Let’s just start off by clearing the air. I don’t think my son is a dog. It is figurative language for all of you who are in a panic and thinking that I think my son is a dog. This is not the case.
Anyway, we are in the middle of training Aka, our lovely demented puppy. He can’t walk on a leash to save his life. He sometimes becomes aggressive and territorial with other doggies while walking. My husband and I have been injured too many times because he sees a squirrel or another dog and bolts after him. Just on a side note, we have spent a fortune training this beast. This last time my husband was injured, I just said, “That’s it!!! I am calling a trainer.” Aka does great during the training sessions. Why is that? I’ll tell you. Aka does well because there are incentives. There are treats after each time he does what we ask him to do.
So, how is motivating a teenager like training a dog? Just this morning, my husband asked our son if he would play violin at this temple function we are going to next weekend. Nolan said, “NO!!!!” Then, a few minutes later, my husband replies, “Well if you had said yes, I would have provided an incentive.” Ahhhh! Now, Nolan’s ears were at attention. “Incentive! What kind of incentive?” Nico asked.
You see it is the treat that is the leverage or motivator to entice the teenager to do the task you want him/her to do. That is why I think motivating a teenage is similar to training a dog.