Home
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Mad Men’s Training Advice
The benefits of positive reinforcement, illustrated
Positive reinforcement: Don proposes to Megan.

For all you Mad Men fans—hope you caught “Tomorrowland,” the final episode of season 4 because I don’t want to give away the ending. But there was something in a pivotal scene that struck me as a perfect example of best practices for both child and dog raising.

 
So there is Don with his two children and Megan, his lovely, young secretary/nanny, lunching somewhere near Disneyland. Sally and Bobby are arguing when Sally knocks over her milkshake. Don, with a furrowed brow looks ready to snap at the kids (like ex-wife Betty or even worse), but then as quick as you can say “positive reinforcement,” sweet Megan calmly reaches over with paper napkins to clean up the mess. She says something about it being “just a milkshake.” Don looks at her all dewy-eyed and smitten, getting it in a flash that there is an alternative approach to dealing with these messy kiddy matters.
 
A perfect lesson for trainers who promote “alpha assertive” and “hands-on” methods, it really is so much better for everyone—dogs, kids, parents, owners when you can accentuate the positive and forgo the negative—as Mad Men demonstrated in its “engaging” final scene.
 

Print|Email

Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and Editor-in-Chief.

thebark.com

More From The Bark

By
Claudia Kawczynska
By
Claudia Kawczynska
By
Claudia Kawczynska
More in Editors:
Top 5 Summer Dog-Friendly Destinations
No Hiding from the Search Dogs
Genetic Testing for Dogs Made Easy
Another Take on Retractable Leashes
Cats Stealing Dog Beds
Survey Research
Summer 2015 Reading List
Denali: A Moving Tribute to a Very Special Dog
Innovative Canine Prostate Cancer Clinical Treatments
Shining a Light on Pit Bulls