Time to rewild

Until recently, I had never heard the term rewilding.  Over the past few years, I started to see articles trickling across my newsfeeds that talked about rewilding.  I was intrigued.  Rewilding has a few different definitions, some more technical than others.  Scientists, such as conservation biologists, use the term rewilding to describe the process of reintroducing plants or animals into areas where they once thrived.  People like me use the term to describe the experience of stepping out of our urban setting and back into nature. If you want to read a really great book about rewilding, check out Rewilding Our Hearts by Marc Bekoff.

For me, rewilding is important for a number of reasons.

  1. Nature is awesome and there is so much cool stuff to see and learn and experience.
  2. Being outside feels great.
  3. Being outside is good for you.
  4. It helps to remind us that we are a small but important part of something much bigger.

Many of us live busy lives in busy cities.  We don’t really have a choice but to immerse ourselves into our urban environments (which are also pretty amazing).  It often feels like rewilding is impossible between getting to and from work, driving our children places, and getting regular errands done.  Here’s the cool thing about nature.  It is everywhere.  Rewilding doesn’t mean trekking through the woods for weeks at a time.  It is about starting to pay attention to nature all around us and our role in it.

Even the most die-hard city slicker can rewild without changing much about their regular routine.  Pay attention to the trees that line the street to your office.  Notice how they look at different times of the day or during different seasons.  Listen to that bird doing some old school tweeting.  How does it sound?  Can you hear another bird answering?

Nature has so much to teach us about the world and ourselves.  Connection with nature isn’t just for hard core outdoor enthusiasts.  It is for everyone and it is accessible to everyone.  I’m a city girl in her thirties who is discovering all this for the first time.  I don’t know much about nature but I know that understanding it and protecting it is too important to ignore.

Rewilding is the beginning of something that can help to positively affect your health, your relationships, and your perspective.  From there, it will positively impact the world around you.  It’s time to rewild!

Why Kindred Connection works

Have you ever wondered why your dog, your child, your spouse or even you do certain things?  And what about why you don’t do certain things?

Behaviours happen (or don’t) based on an antecedent.  An antecedent is what happens right before the behavior.  They keep happening (or don’t) based on what occurs after the behaviour.  That is the consequence.  We refer to this as the ABCs of behaviour.

Here is an example to help illustrate what I mean.  If I put a colouring book and crayons out for my child and teach him to colour and he enjoys it, then the next time I put those items out again he will colour in his book.

A:  The antecedent is the book and crayons.

B:  The behaviour is colouring.

C:  The consequence is pleasure, engagement, and contentment.

The reason my child returns to colouring when I put out the book and crayons is due to the pleasure that the activity of colouring provides.  If my child really did not enjoy colouring then my putting the book and crayons out would not prompt colouring.

Starting to make sense?

Let’s look at another example.  I have a 9 week old puppy who is chewing everything in sight.  He keeps chewing because the behaviour of chewing provides some pleasure for him and possibly the release of discomfort from sore gums if he is teething.  He chews a particular object because it is available to chew.

A:  The antecedent is the available object.

B:  The behaviour is chewing.

C:  The consequence is pleasure or the relief of the discomfort of teething.

So why would the puppy not chew every time the item is available?  Well therein lies the mystery but. . . maybe not so mysterious.  Perhaps the pup is engaged elsewhere, watching you in the kitchen, playing with the children or playing with another toy.  Perhaps he does not need to chew, therefore the act of chewing would not provide pleasure.

The point is that for a behaviour to occur there must be

A:  Antecedent:  the opportunity to perform a behaviour; and

C: Consequence:  a consequence that is favourable to the learner.

So ABC really explains why Kindred works.  You will need to observe and learn what motivates your learner.  We’ll help you to identify what makes them feel good, happy, and content.  Then we will show you how to work towards providing those consequences for behaviours that you want to see more.

In the first example above, I can start to create a favourable environment and consequence if I provide the tools (Antecedent) which are the books and crayons and spend some time with my child teaching him to colour.  The next time I put out the book and crayons, perhaps he will start on his own and then I will have the opportunity to encourage and reinforce the efforts.  As time goes on, colouring will become a pleasurable experience.  And now, I can do a few other activities close by that I need to get done while my child is colouring.  This has happened only because I took the time to teach and reinforce the behaviour.

How about that puppy I mentioned?  If I place my pup in a contained area so that mistakes can’t be made and I provide a few really enticing chew toys that may even have a food source (like a frozen Kong) then I am creating a comfortable environment with a great consequences for my puppy (chewing and accessing food).  Over time, the presentation of a frozen Kong (Antecedent) in a contained space where puppy can be safe, prompts the chewing (Behaviour), and the puppy is busy and content (Consequence).  This gives me a chance to engage in other activities while my puppy is busy with an appropriate and reinforcing behaviour.

Ever broken down your dog’s recall into ABC?  The Antecedent is you calling the dog. The Behaviour is running towards you.  But what is the Consequence?

That’s where Kindred really shines!  Join us and we will show you how to choose consequences for your dog that truly reinforce the behaviour of running towards you and so much more! We’ll show you how you can have a wonderful life with your dog.

Welcome to Kindred Connection

Hi! Welcome to Kindred Connection.  This is the place where science meets kindness.

If you have ever struggled with improving behaviour, either your own or from those around you, then you are in the right place.  Too often we make life more difficult and complicated than it needs to be.  This shows up in our relationships with others.  Our relationships become adversarial, confrontational, and are punctuated by an ongoing struggle for power.  Kindred Connection is about knowing that life and your relationships can be easy, simple, co-operative, happy, and successful. How can something so simple be so effective?  Easy.  All animals, including humans, do what works.

The science of behaviour analysis has proven this time and time again, without exception.  An simple example is this:  if choosing to sit or lay down is followed by a chest rub or a piece of kibble, your dog will do it again.  It is so much easier to let those around us know what behaviours we like than it is to correct or discourage behaviours that are dangerous or annoying.  This is simply the most natural way of learning.  This is how nature has designed the success and failure of every species, including our own.  And for millions of years, nature has not been wrong.

If you are here because you are struggling with behaviour, we can help.  If you are here because you want to continue to improve your relationships, we can help.  If you are here because you want to make the world around you a little bit better, we can help.