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Controversial Reality Show Encourages Parents To Train Their Children Like Dogs

A new reality show out of the UK is causing a lot of controversies and thousands have even signed a petition to have the show taken off the air. While reality television shows often have their fair share of critics, this show, titled  Train Your Baby Like a Dois being called out for simply being in poor taste.

The show, which has been blocked from airing in the United States, follows dog trainer and behaviorist Jo-Rosie Haffenden. Haffenden believes that parents should apply dog training reward techniques to basically "train" children, something that has many viewers up in arms.

Haffendon uses techniques such as using clickers and rewarding good behavior with treats when dealing with tough toddlers, the same as she would use with troublesome pooches. The organization Autistic Inclusive Meets has even issued a petition to have the show taken off the air, that has so far gained more than 35,000 signatures.

"Children are not dogs!" the petition reads before criticizing the methods that Haffendon uses in the show. "Clicker training is used in the behavioral therapy Applied Behavioral Analysis, used on autistic children. It is shown to cause PTSD in adults that were subjected to it," the petition reads.

The petition adds that the show is "dehumanizing to children" and that the methods they use can be problematic as the child grows older. "The children are shown no dignity or respect in clicker training behaviorism and will be a prime target for grooming in the future as they will have been taught to comply to an adults demands, regardless of their own comfort or autonomy for reward."

A spokesperson for Channel 4 released a statement about the program to The Huffington Post. “The program explores a new approach to childcare, grounded in positive, science-based motivational techniques that are used widely by parenting coaches and animal behavior experts," it read. "Throughout filming and broadcast, the welfare of all contributors in the program is of paramount importance and the process is supervised by qualified child psychologists.”

Karen Plumb, executive producer of the company that produces the program thinks Haffendon's techniques are exactly what some parents need. “If everyone trained their children like dogs, I honestly believe they would be happier, more confident and, yes, a lot better behaved," she stated. "Train Your Baby Like a Dog is a must-watch for any struggling parent.”

During an episode of the controversial show, Haffendon states that she and her partner began using her dog training techniques when they were having troubles effectively communicating with her own son. “I don’t understand why we haven’t been applying animal techniques to humans, universally,” she says on her show. “Kids are a lot more like dogs than people like to think.”

Would you watch this show?

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